NATION

Dr Fong Clears Air On Burial Procedures Of COVID-19 Patients

“As long as the person is in the case of a proper coffin then there is no problem, it is not like the virus will go floating into the air.”
03 Aug 2020 09:03
Dr Fong Clears Air On Burial Procedures Of COVID-19 Patients
Acting Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr James Fong.

The Acting Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr James Fong, has cleared the air on burial procedures for COVID-19 patients.

This comes after a number of queries and questions were raised on a social media platform in relation to those who attended the burial of the 66-year-old Labasa man, who died as a result of complications from the virus.

Dr Fong said in accordance with the World Health Organization guidelines, the country’s health officials followed measures that were needed to be taken in consultation with the patient’s family.

“The hospital did all the infection control measures in terms of the body management from the ward to the coffin in consultation with the family,” said Dr Fong.

“Hand sanitisation and wearing of masks was an option because it is for any gathering with COVID safety measures.

“As long as the person is in the case of a proper coffin then there is no problem, it is not like the virus will go floating into the air.”

The WHO guideline states that “family and friends may view the body after it has been prepared for burial, in accordance with customs. They should not touch or kiss the body and should wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water following the viewing; physical distancing measures should be strictly applied (at least one metre between people)”.

The guideline also highlights “those tasked with placing the body in the grave, on the funeral pyre, etc., should wear gloves and wash hands with soap and water after removal of the gloves once the burial is complete”.

Edited by Ivamere Nataro

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