ROLPA, May 18: People here in the district are afraid of an increased risk of the spread of the coronavirus infection as family members themselves have started managing the bodies of their dear ones who died of COVID-19 of late.
This situation has arisen following a delay in managing the bodies of the victims of COVID-19 on the part of the government bodies responsible for this.
A COVID-19 patient from the district headquarters who was admitted to the Rolpa Hospital died on the way while being taken to another hospital out of the district for advanced treatment. The family members of the victim took the body back to the hospital. But the government bodies concerned did not show any concern and ultimately the family members of the deceased themselves had to manage the body.
Similarly, the family members of a man from local Sunil Smriti Rural Municipality-4 who died of COVID-19 a few days back had to themselves manage the dead body of the victim.
The number of people succumbing to the coronavirus infection is on the increase in the district. The District Administration Office, Rolpa said seven persons have died of the pandemic in the district so far.
It is said the family members themselves have managed most of the dead bodies of the victims. The risk of contracting the infection has increased due to this and as it is a social custom and responsibility for the kith and kin, and neighbours to attend the funeral rites thereby resulting in gatherings.
"The management of the dead bodies by the family members has increased the risk of spread of the disease," said Binod Acharya of Rolpa Municipality-4, who himself recently attended the funeral rites of his neighbor who died of the coronavirus infection.
Dhanraj Dangi of Rolpa Municipality-4, who participated in the last rites of one of his relatives who died of COVID-19, said they waited for more than an hour for the arrival of the army team responsible for managing dead bodies of COVID-19 victims, and they had to themselves manage the body as the army team failed to show up.
Chief District Officer Nawaraj Sapkota said army squads are sent for managing the dead bodies of COVID-19 victims once the hospitals call for it through coordination of the victims’ relatives and the hospital. "The army team is not sent until the hospital confirms that the person has died of COVID," he said.
According to him, although it was the policy during the first wave of the pandemic that all the bodies of COVID-19 victims should be managed by the Nepal Army, the rule during the second wave of the pandemic is that the bodies could be given to the family members if they wanted to cremate or bury the bodies themselves.