Monday 28 September, 2020

CMO: Relatives can view bodies of loved ones who died from COVID-19

Photo: Dr Roshan Parasram. Image taken from video.

Photo: Dr Roshan Parasram. Image taken from video.

Families of loved ones who have passed away from COVID-19 can view their relatives’ bodies.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram at the Ministry of Health’s virtual media briefing on Wednesday assured that there is no recommendation barring families from viewing deceased relatives’ bodies.

He shed some light on the procedure involved for safe viewing of the body in these instances.

Dr Parasram acknowledged that the Ministry has received several complaints from relatives that they were not being allowed to view the bodies of their loved ones.

The CMO advised, however, that a document guiding how the bodies of deceased COVID-19 patients are to be managed would have been sent to the funeral agencies and Regional Health Authorities since March.

He indicated that he has since spoken with the President of the Funeral Home Agencies and CEOs at the RHAs on the matter.

The CMO clarified the procedure involved.

He said: “It is well within the guidelines that a relative of a COVID-19 patient that has died can view the body.

There are personal protective equipment and infection prevention control measures that need to be put in place when that is being done to prevent any infection transmitting from the body to any other individual.”

He added: “So, it is something that is not forbidden by the guidelines at all. Persons can view the body but there is a special way in which the body is to be viewed to prevent any infection from being spread.”

As of Wednesday morning, 57 COVID-19 related deaths were recorded.

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