Family members of a person who died due to COVID-19 will be allowed to see the body and pay their respects, according to a notification issued on Saturday. Relatives of people who died due to COVID-19 in the state were not allowed to see the body so far.
"The dead body should be kept at a suitable place for 30 minutes during which the family members shall be allowed to pay their last respects," said the notification, issued a day after the decision was taken.
"In case of death of a patient, the hospital shall inform the family members within one hour of death. A body cover with transparent face area shall be used. The body cover supplied earlier shall not be used," it added.
However, the last rites will be performed by the civic authorities.
To see the body, the family members will be provided masks and gloves by the hospitals concerned, it said.
The Calcutta High Court on Friday had directed the state government to file a report on allegations that bodies of patients who succumbed to COVID-19 were not cremated or buried in a respectful manner.
The change in the practice is effective immediately, a senior official of the health department said.