Sunday 7 June, 2020

CMO: COVID-19 victims to be buried, cremated on leaving funeral home

The bodies of COVID-19 patients will go directly from the funeral agency to the gravesite or crematorium.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Roshan Parasram said there will be no home or church visits.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, the CMO confirmed that COVID-19 can be spread from the deceased.

He indicated that the Ministry has held consultations with the various inter-religious groups on the established protocol, in keeping with the World Health Organization's (WHO) guidelines.

"WHO gives us a guideline. The principle of it is to limit contact with the deceased persons body in any form or fashion thereby reducing spread of the disease further. So our guideline is complete. We're having consultations with the religious groups to let them know what the guideline is basically, so that they can inform their different members as to how things will go with these particular patients.

But the guidelines speak broadly for allowing for cremation and burial. However, in terms of cremation we are looking at a crematorium only. In terms of burial, we are going to the gravesite only. So there is no home visit. There is no church visit. No visits other than from the funeral agency to the grave or crematorium," he said.

Two persons who were tested positive for COVID-19, have died.

The Ministry of Health has revealed that both patients were elderly (over the age of 60) with pre-existing conditions.

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