Proper disposal of COVID-19 ‘casualties’ pressed

April 15, 2020

THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has urged all cities and municipalities to designate reputable funeral parlors and crematoriums to handle “casualties” of the COVID-19 battle.

Secretary Eduardo Ano said that LGUs should ensure that the remains of confirmed and suspected coronavirus cases are cremated or buried within 12 hours after death.

According to the DILG chief, since the remains of persons who died of communicable disease such as COVID-19 are potentially infectious, standard precautions should be implemented for every case.

“Kaya dapat siguruhin ng mga local governments na may nakatalagang funeral parlor at crematorium sa kanilang lugar na mamamahala sa mga labi ng namatay sa Covid-19,” he said.

Although cremation is preferred, it is not acceptable to Muslims thus the need for them to be buried in the nearest (Muslim) cemetery within 12 hours.

In places where there are no crematoriums, the standard burial process within 12 hours should apply.

The DILG Secretary issued the statement after receiving reports that some local government units (LGUs) refuse entry to cadavers of COVID-19 cases for burial or cremation.

“No LGU shall prohibit the cremation or burial of COVID-19 cadavers in a cemetery or memorial park located in his or her area of jurisdiction,” he said.

The DILG chief also urged LGUs to provide financial assistance to cover the logistics, fuel, salary and other expenses that will be incurred in the interment process which include transfer or transport of human remains.

He said that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has set aside P25,000 for each indigent bereaved family of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).