New Measures At CWM Morgue

 Ministry says system now in place to allow people to safely takethe bodies of theirloved ones.
22 Jul 2021 12:00
New Measures At CWM Morgue
A Police officer outside the mortuary at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva after they cordoned it off due to the movement of people around the area on July 21, 2021. Photo: Fiji Police Force

Zoheb Hassan waited on the pave­ment at Brown Street in Suva yesterday.

Like many people present there, he was there to collect the body of a fam­ily member to carry out for a funeral.

His father-in-law, Mohammed Imtaz, was 46-years-old and had died at home on Monday evening due to COVID-19.

Mr Hassan had already seen the of­ficials at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva and given a number.

The number allocated determines the order in which the bodies would be taken out of the mortuary.

Mr Hassan said on Monday, before his father-in-law died, he made contact with him at 5.30pm.

“After that, he started developing dif­ficulty in breathing. My father-in-law had made a call to the emergency num­bers and apparently he took his last breath while being on the phone,” he said.

Mr Hassan the family could not find trans­portation to take Mr Imtaz to the hospital as it was during curfew and people did not have passes.

At the morgue, an influx of people had somewhat led to temporary chaos, affect­ing traffic and having people converging all at once. Thirteen more deaths were an­nounced on Tuesday evening which were related to COVID-19, while three more deaths were under investigation.

Permanent Secretary for Health and Medi­cal Services, Dr James Fong, said like all services, the morgue services were also af­fected, but a system was now in place allow­ing people to safely take the bodies of their loved ones.

“I think the measures in place are holding us together. We have also got an inter-min­isterial group to co-ordinate and help with bereavement and burial with COVID safe measures in place,” he said.

The services at the morgue had been priva­tised some time ago.




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