New Delhi: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has withdrawn its order, that directed that the bodies of COVID-19 patients only be cremated, just hours after it was issued on Monday. The order was revoked after Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Maharashtra Minority Development Minister Nawab Malik’s intervention in the matter. Also Read - Bodies of COVID-19 Patients Should be Cremated Irrespective of Religion: BMC

The order, issued by BMC commissioner Praveen Pardeshi, stated that the bodies of those who have died due to COVID-19, shall only be cremated irrespective of religion. It added that only five persons would be allowed at the funeral and that any ritual involving touching the body ought to be avoided. Also Read - COVID-19: 4 Saudi Arabia Returnees Tested Positive in Maharashtra, Transmitted Virus to 21 Family Members

“Since the existing burial grounds are in highly dense localities, there is a high chance of contamination of dense community/residential areas nearby,” read the Mumbai civic agency’s order. Also Read - Coronavirus: Maharashtra's COVID-19 Death Toll Rises to 8, Positive Cases Cross 200

However, hours later, Nawab Malik tweeted: “This is to bring to your kind attention that I have spoken to BMC commissioner Mr Praveen Pardeshi regarding the circular issued by him for cremation of those who have lost their lives due to the coronavirus.”

“The said circular has now been withdrawn,” he added.

Maharashtra has thus far recorded 215 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including eight deaths. Mumbai has recorded the maximum number of cases at 88, followed by 42 from Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad and rural areas.