Caught in a storm of controversy, the management of Shillong Electric Crematorium on Thursday embarked on a desperate face-saving exercise.
The crematorium, located at Jhalupara, on Wednesday denied permission to cremate the mortal remains of Dr. John L. Sailo Rynthathiang, the first COVID19 casualty of Meghalaya.
Dr. Sailo Rynthathiang passed away at 2.45 am on Wednesday in medical complications after COVID19 infection.
The Greater Shillong Crematorium and Mortuary Society, which is responsible for running the electric crematorium at Jhalupara, on Thursday, issued a statement to clarify its stand on the controversy.
The statement issued jointly by J.L.Das, president and J.Malakar, the general secretary of the society, said, they have no problem or objection in cremating any corpse, including that of COVID19 victims if the state government looks into some of the important issues.
They said the government will need to get approval of the headman/village council of the locality to cremate Corona victims, and especially to cremate dead bodies beyond 8 pm.
The society said the government will have to guarantee proper sanitization of the crematorium, including the furnace before and after cremation of a dead body.
The society demanded that the government should impart training to the staff to handle COVID19 infected corpse.
Das and Malakar said the government should provide Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits to the crematorium staff and impart them training on how to wear, use and dispose them before and after cremation of COVID19 infected dead bodies.
They also said advance information may be sent to the management at least 3 hours before the body is brought to the crematorium.
“We hope that no one will be disrespected at his last journey and all sections of society can come forward and cooperate with the state government and Centre and stand united in defeating this pandemic,” they said.