Manipur government to bear charges for cremation of deceased COVID-19 patients
IFP IMPACT: Barely a week after the 'Imphal Free Press' published a report entitled 'Hit by financial woes, COVID-19 victims’ families question cremation charges in Manipur', the government announced to bear the charges for cremation of deceased COVID-19 patients.
The Manipur government on Saturday announced that all charges for disposal and cremation of the dead bodies due to COVID-19 as per relevant extent provisions will be borne by the district administration with immediate effect.
Deaths due to COVID-19 has caused immense psychological impact both on the family of the deceased as well as on the society and it is felt that the expenses on the disposal of the dead bodies needed to be borne by the government, stated an order issued by district magistrate Imphal West Th Kirankumar.
The Directorate of Health Services, Manipur had issued a memorandum vide No 1/COVID-19/DAC/DHS-2020 dated December 1, 2020 wherein all expenses of all unclaimed COVID-19 positive cases will be borne by the health department and the disposal to be done by the district administration, it stated.
The disposal of dead bodies due to COVID-19 in the district have been done so far after issuance of a disposal order by the office of the district magistrate, Imphal West after obtaining documents from the hospital/health facility concerned and as well as the family members concerned, the order mentioned.
A sum of Rs 15,000 were charged for disposals/cremation at Bazar Board Crematorium Site located at Minuthong and a sum of Rs 8,000 for disposal/cremation were charged at the locality crematorium site for meeting the expenses required, it further stated.
Now, considering all facts and circumstances, all charges for disposal/cremation of the dead bodies due to COVID-19 as per relevant extent provisions shall be borne by the district administration with immediate effect, it added.
The Imphal Free Press had recently published an exclusive report on May 18, highlighting the concerns and questions raised by COVID-19 victims’ families regarding the cremation charges in Manipur. The report was entitled: 'Hit by financial woes, COVID-19 victims’.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister N Biren also stated on social media concerning the announcement which was made after virtual interactions with COVID-19 affected families on Friday and Saturday.
“I have interacted with Covid patients in home isolation for the second day today through video conferencing. Through these interactions I have learnt about the challenges faced by the families who are grieving the death of loved ones,” Biren stated in a Facebook post.
“Considering the trauma and financial burden faced by the families due to death of their loved ones in this pandemic, we have decided to bear the cost of cremating the unfortunate victims of Covid. I am thankful to the patients who joined me in the virtual meeting today and shared their inputs. Rest assured, your inputs have been noted and we will surely incorporate them in our fight against COVID-19 pandemic,” his post added.
Following the interactions, the Manipur government has also decided to intensify the monitoring of home isolation patients following the observation of certain anomalies in the standard practice of home isolation.
Chief Minister N Biren Singh announced the government decision in a series of tweets Saturday and said medical teams will visit the affected households to check on the patients.
"As we noticed certain anomalies in the standard practice of home isolation, we will be intensifying the monitoring of home isolation patients. Teams comprising doctors and other healthcare staff will now visit these households to check up on the patients," Chief Minister N Biren Singh tweeted.
The chief minister said the government has also decided to provide medicines and oxymeters to home isolation patients at free of cost.
"The Govt. has also decided to provide medicines and oxymeters to home isolation patients at free of cost. For those patients with inadequate space to isolate themselves at home, we have decided to accommodate them in our Covid Care Centres."
On Friday, the chief minister held a virtual interaction with COVID-19 patients in home isolation.
"I had a very insightful interaction with Covid patients in home isolation through video conference today. With first hand information from the patients themselves, the Govt. is now in a better position to take care of our patients in home isolation more effectively." Biren tweeted.