Delhi Police starts testing unidentified bodies for Covid-19

New Delhi: In the last four months, more than 550 unidentified dead bodies (UIDB) were discovered in various parts across the National Capital. Amid the ongoing crisis, Delhi Police has now started testing dead bodies for COVID-19.

The data accessed by Millennium Post revealed that in January around 203 bodies were recovered whereas in February 186 bodies were found from different parts of Delhi. "About 156 bodies were found in March whereas in April over 40 bodies were recovered," data shows.

Police sources said that COVID-19 tests were conducted on seven bodies which were recovered from one of the districts in April. "Their samples were taken to check for coronavirus infection and later all these bodies were tested negative," an official said. The official further added that after they received information about UIDB, they briefed their staff to take PPE kits with them. "The police personnel, who were at the spot, took proper precautions like wearing masks, gloves and then followed procedures," the official said.

As per procedure, soon after the recovery of the unidentified body, a daily diary (DD) entry was lodged at the police station or post, and the concerned SHO/ACP were informed immediately. The body was photographed from different angles to ensure that the face and identification marks are captured clearly in the photographs. The body was then sent for autopsy to ascertain the cause of death. The body was preserved for at least 72 hours in the mortuary and all efforts are made to identify the body. Wireless Messages were flashed to all SHOs, ACPs and DCPs in Delhi and to all district SSPs in India.

In the first three months of last year, about 623 unidentified bodies were recovered from different parts of the city. But in the current year (till March), 545 people died without identity. In most of the cases, bodies were of homeless people.

A senior government official said that many of the homeless people who were staying on streets before COVID-19 were shifted to various shelter homes after lockdown and they are being provided with food.

The official said," After lockdown homeless deaths have decreased and there are multiple reasons. Homeless are being provided with foods, there are no chances of infection inside shelter homes. Because of the lockdown, consumption of drugs and alcohol has drastically reduced among homeless people," the official said, adding that earlier due to overdose of drugs they have to suffer a lot.

Another reason behind the death rate is that there is almost nil vehicular traffic resulting in less number of road accidents. According to Delhi Police data, from January 1 to March 15, around 257 fatal accidents were reported whereas from March 22 to March 29, six such incidents were reported.

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