Kolkata: After the sordid saga of disposal of bodies in Kolkata's Garia locality attracted public flak, the West Bengal Health Department is now mulling not to conduct Covid-19 tests on bodies of deceased patients, especially if they were not detected with coronavirus-like symptoms.
A video had gone viral on the social media last week that showed decomposed bodies getting dragged into a Kolkata Municipal Corporation van one after another in broad daylight in Basdroni Police Station area. The video was reportedly shot outside the Garia crematorium where area people objected to the cremation of 14 decomposed bodies, reports said.
According to Trinamool Congress' Rajya Sabha MP and Indian Medical Association (IMA) president Santanu Sen, the decision is needed in view of unnecessary harassment of patients families.
"It takes a few days to receive the Covid test reports even after the death of a patient. The bodies also get piled up at morgues, causing additional harassment to patient parties as well as hospital authorities," Sen said.
The IMA chief said that corona test kits were also unnecessarily used on bodies not showing Covid-like symptoms.
"We will strictly follow all Covid-19 guidelines in all three categories of suspected, probable and positive corona patients though," Sen said, adding the department is thinking of issuing a circular soon.
Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Health Department on Tuesday began Covid-19 antibody tests at five containment zone across Kolkata.
"I am open to all kinds of research. I welcome the move. I will be really happy if the experts can land up with something fruitful as far as the fight against coronavirus is concerned. The drive started at Dhakuria area this morning," Kolkata Municipal Corporation board of administration head Firhad Hakim said.