The Calcutta Municipal Corporation has started work on building two additional electric pyres at the Dhapa crematorium where people dying from Covid-19 are being cremated.
The crematorium at Dhapa has two pyres but civic officials said they were augmenting the capacity to ensure there was no delay in cremation. After Cyclone Amphan, a queue of Covid-19 bodies had formed as power supply to the crematorium had snapped.
Atin Ghosh, a member of the CMC’s board of administrators, said the pyres would be ready in three to four months.
The crematorium was earlier used to cremate unclaimed bodies. But the civic body designated it for Covid-19 bodies after it faced resistance in other crematoriums in the city. “We will now cremate unclaimed bodies at Nimtala crematorium. Dhapa will solely be used to cremate Covid-19 bodies,” Ghosh said.
The burial of Covid-19 bodies is being done at the Bagmari burial ground.
The cremation guidelines say a Covid-19 body must be placed “in leak-proof plastic body bag. The exterior of the body bag can be decontaminated with 1% hypochlorite. The body bag can be wrapped with a mortuary sheet or sheet provided by the family members”.
The body, secured in a body bag, exterior of which has been decontaminated poses no additional risk to people transporting the body, according to the guidelines. “The main driver of transmission of Covid-19 is droplets. There is unlikely to be an increased risk of infection from a dead body to health workers or family members who follow standard precautions while handling a body.”