“Due to lack of civic mannerism, people not only throw the discarded clothes and beddings in the crematorium premises but also elsewhere on the roadside and water bodies. I myself have noticed this menace in Jammu, where patients’ clothes and beddings were thrown in open”
Even when the administration of Lieutenant Governor is under tremendous pressure to control the ever high mortality rate of Covid positive cases in Jammu, the public here appears to be ‘slack and apathetic’ in dealing with this unseen enemy.
Call it a lapse on the part of authorities or lack of civic sense among the public, the discarded clothes and other belongings of the dead Covid patients are being ‘intentionally’ left abandoned outside the crematoriums and water bodies, leading to potential cause of infection.
Outside Shastri Nagar Crematorium, a large quantity of abandoned articles piled up out in the open, just adjacent to the main entry of the crematorium, even the water canal outside the crematorium is filled with such articles.
According to medical experts, the clothes worn by those who succumbed to the disease or the ones under treatment, ought to be disposed of properly in the bio-medical waste incinerators, otherwise it would only help in spreading the pandemic.
“I may not blame the government or municipality for this callous approach of the public. There should be a proper civic sense about the matter. The attendants must understand that their insensitive attitude may lead to disaster, as this is an unseen enemy,” said the expert, wishing anonymity, adding that no civilized society will throw clothes and other articles of the deceased on the roads.
He asserted that lets keep the covid-19 aside, the clothes and articles associated with the deceased are not supposed to be littered around, as they carry many germs and viruses.
“Due to lack of civic mannerism, people not only throw the discarded clothes and beddings in the crematorium premises but also elsewhere on the roadside and water bodies. I myself have noticed this menace in Jammu, where patients’ clothes and beddings were thrown in the open,” he informed and added that better sense should prevail among the residents and they should properly dispose of the patients’ discarded material so that it may not end up causing infection.
A senior health worker, Anil Sharma said that at the cremation ground, the Covid protocols demand that the cremation is done under the supervision of administrative officials. The body getting wrapped in a designated plastic bag and the ones involved in performing the last rites would have to wear PPE kits. Astonishingly, post cremation, some leave it on the premises of the cremation ground or throw it in the nearby canal.
He said, “It was gross negligence and dangerous as well, as it poses high risk of potential infections. The patients’ clothing has to be incinerated through a bio-medical waste process. The used PPE kits, too, have to undergo an incineration process. Otherwise, it would certainly spread infection.”
Talking to The Typewriter, Advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat, who witnessed pilling of such articles outside the Shastri Nagar Crematorium, said that it was heartbreaking to see the clothes, bedding and other articles mounding outside the cremation ground.
“I feel that throwing things like this in the open and not at the designated places is really bad on the part of society. It is an unbecoming attitude of the people, who are indulging into such activities,” said Deepika, adding “I believe that people should be taken to task for throwing articles of the deceased like this. Law governing the matter should be strictly enforced in letter and spirit. Authorities should take serious note of it.”
She said that people must understand their responsibilities towards society instead of ranting over the government inaction every time.
“It is our duty to maintain hygiene, especially at the times of pandemic, which is deadly and contagious,” She maintained.
Health Officer of JMC Sanjogita Soodan said that it comes under biomedical waste. “We had put up this issue with GMC&H for disposal of such belongings, but the administration said it would be difficult for them to pick it from crematorium, ” Said officer, adding that she had observed that most of the belongings are put on the pyre of the deceased. She said that the priority of JMC is to contain the spread of disease. ” We are planning to depute a staff at cremation grounds. The proposal has been discussed with Commissioner JMC,” She said and added that they have decided to depute a group of two employees at each cremation ground to take care of such things. She, however, said that the only problem they are facing right now is that some of their staff members have also contracted virus. “On top of everything, we are working on this, ” She said.
Mayor of Jammu city, Chander Mohan Gupta said that directions have been issued to the concerned staff to dispose of such material there only.
“There are guidelines, which are clear on disposing of the articles of the deceased. The staff of crematorium is taking care of such stuff and moreover, employees of municipality are deployed at every cremation ground to ensure that the leftover is properly disposed of,” he said and added that many people show reluctance in following the guidelines and in such situation, administration cannot be harsh on them.