Lashing out at BMC's 'amended order' allowing burials under particular conditions, AIMIM Asaduddin Owaisi, on Monday asked CM Uddhav Thackeray to speak up against the conditions set by the Shiv Sena-controlled Municipal body. Pointing out that order violates the MOHFW's guidelines, he said that Islamic scholars have advised a small prayer and immediate burial for COVID-19 deceased - which confers to WHO norms. He also refused to 'seek BMC's permission to bury ones' relatives' and questioned the need of prosecution over this 'violation'.
Is @mybmc fighting the same COVID19 that the rest of the world is fighting, @OfficeofUT? At a time when the fight against the pandemic is already difficult, BMC chooses to create unnecessary issue over burials/cremations [1/n] https://t.co/RP2XzRswew— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) March 30, 2020
Earlier in the day, BMC Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi, on Monday ordered that all 'bodies must be cremated irrespective of religion'. He further stated that burials must not be allowed as they 'risk continuing the virus' and prevents early decomposition. Moreover, the BMC also stated that funerals must not have more than 5 people and if one insists on burying, it must be taken outside Mumbai's jurisdiction.
Immediately, Maharashtra minority affairs minister Nawab Malik intervened and tweeted that the previous order has been revoked after he spoke to Pardeshi. The BMC has now amended the order claiming that those who insist on burying the COVID-19 deceased, will be allowed only if the ground is large enough so as not to create the possibility of spread of the virus in the neighbourhood. The other conditions still stand.
The Ministry has issued a clear SOP stating that 'crematorium/burial ground staff should be sensitized that COVID-19 does not pose additional risk'. Moreover, the SOP stated that hand hygiene and the use of masks and gloves must be practiced, but rituals that do not involve touching the body can be permitted. While bathing, kissing, hugging the body is disallowed, the ministry has also stated that the ash does not pose any risk and large gathering should be avoided. Maharashtra has recorded the highest number of cases at 220 - Mumbai itself has reported over 88 cases.