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Look how burials are done in this Covid-19 Pandemic

The health department has released directives outlining how patients who succumbed to COVID-19 are to be handled and buried

The human remains of a person who has died from coronavirus are considered contagious and should be kept only in designated mortuaries. Under no circumstances shall the human remains be directly handled, whether for aesthetic, hygiene preparations, cultural or religious reasons. Human remains shall be placed in transparent leak-proof double body bags and sealed. A third non-transparent and unsealed bag must be added when the body is moved. The third bag should have handles and an appropriate BIOHAZARD warning tag written "Hazard Group 4 Pathogens" before being transported to the mortuary. No one is allowed to exhume a body for any reason unless they have permission from the relevant authorities to do so. If someone wants to exhume a body for any reason it must be done with permission to ensure everyone’s safety

Key takeaways from the directives:

1. Individuals handling the remains of someone with COVID-19 should wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, masks, and waterproof coveralls. These individuals should also ensure that they thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water.

2. Should someone with COVID-19 die at home, family members should not handle the body themselves. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) should be alerted and the body must be removed by an undertaker.

3. The bodies of deceased COVID-19 patients should be carefully transported in body bags. The outside of these body bags should be thoroughly disinfected. After being used, empty body bags must be cut and disposed of as healthcare waste.

4. Families viewing the deceased’s body should wear gloves and masks. Family members can only view the remains one at a time and viewing can only take place at a mortuary or hospital. The health department discourages family members from washing and preparing the deceased’s body themselves. 

5. To limit contact with the remains, embalming is discouraged. Should the body be embalmed, the necessary personal protective gear and precautions should be worn and taken. 

6. Only close family members are allowed to attend the funeral of a person who died of COVID-19. Funeral services should be kept as short as possible and cannot exceed two hours. Individuals who have COVID-19 at the time of a funeral, are barred from attending burial services. Individuals handling the body at the burial should wear PPE and wash their hands once the burial has concluded.

7. Local and metropolitan municipalities have to identify suitable cemeteries and crematoria for the remains of people with COVID-19, along with land which may be required for mass burials, should the need arise. These mass burials could occur if the death rate exceeds the available space needed to keep the bodies of the deceased. Mass burials should respect the human dignity of the deceased and ensure that their remains can be identified. This responsibility lies with municipalities.  

You can find and download the directives here.

Content created and supplied by: Nkosinathi03 (via Opera News )

Covid-19 Hazard Pandemic


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