The fatal NIPAH has held India by its neck and the entire health system is putting in efforts to set public free from its threat. The rumors had kept the public from eating fruits for long, though later, fruit consumption was declared not dangerous and virus free.
But the dead bodies of patients who have died of Nipah are still a major open source for disease transmission. People are being warned not to go close or even inhale the air around such dead bodies as it possesses considerable risk.
We haven’t yet forgotten the case, where a staff nurse contracted Nipah from a sick patient and later died of it. Her dead body, instead of being handed over to her family was cremated in a hurry to prevent exposure to healthier individuals. Such is the fright of the virus.
Today, we are talking about a doctor named Dr. RS Gopakumar, the health officer of Kozhikode corporation who has voluntarily shouldered the responsibility of performing last rites of 12 Nipah victims after their families chose to maintain a safe distance from the dead bodies.
“I was a pallbearer for three bodies and performed their last rites too,” the 41-year-old told PTI.
He shares the heart-wrenching cases of deaths and after events that he has thus witnessed. He has performed last rites of a 17 YO boy whose mother was in isolation ward because of suspected infection, a 53 YO man whose family members denied being part of his last rites and also assisted a 19 YO woman who lost her husband to Nipah.
Here, let us mention that it is not all appropriate to call such families as heartless or selfish. When you can either protect a life or mourn a death, you should always go with the first option.
Extreme care and standing operating procedures have been laid down by the experts of National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for handling Nipah affected bodies during the cremation and burial as exposure to Nipah virus (NiV) are highly hazardous.
As part of the standard procedures, the bodies should not be sprayed, washed or embalmed and personnel handling remains have to wear protective equipment like gloves, gowns, N95 masks, eye protection shield and shoe cover.A 10-feet pit is dug and 5 kg of bleaching powder is spread inside the pit. The body is packed in an air-tight plastic double body bag and then lowered into the pit.
No matter what faith the deceased had while alive, this EBOLA PROTOCOL OF BURIAL has to be followed to serve a bigger goal.
Gopakumar said he had overseen the funeral of 61-year-old Moosa, whose two sons and brother’s wife had fallen victim to Nipah virus. It is suspected that during the ritual of bathing of Sabith’s body, Moosa, and his younger son might have contracted the virus, he said.
Every secretion and excretion from the dead body of a Nipah victim carries the virus in enough amount to infect the healthy persons who attempt at hugging, kissing or bathing it. Instead of highlighting emotional prospect of the issue, we should rather appreciate the doctor for bravely preventing every possible opportunity of disease spread and thus protecting the community as a whole.