Government bans night burials for Covid 19 patients

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Health Director General Patrick Amoth said he would send a circular to counties to remind them of the protocols on burial of Covid-19 victims. IMAGE/COURTESY

The government has succumbed to public pressure and outlawed night burials of people killed by Covid-19.

Health Director General Patrick Amoth said he would send a circular to counties to remind them of the protocols on burial of Covid-19 victims.

Dr Amoth said as long as a body had been preserved well, there was no need of burying hurriedly, and especially at night.

The protocols, as released by the Ministry of Health in April, dictate that a body of a person who succumbs to Covid-19 should be buried within 48 hours.

However, the government has been openly flouting these guidelines, whether the person dies from suspected Covid-19 or not, with the latest case being of Ohangla musician Abenny Jachiga, who was hurriedly buried on Friday night, sparking public outrage.

“If you look at the transmission of Covid-19 against other infections, there is very little likelihood that one stands a chance of getting infected from a body, if treated well,” said Amoth.

Amoth said with good preservation, safety was higher with a corpse of a Covid-19 victim compared to those of other illnesses such as Ebola, hence the need to allow dignified send-off as per the given protocols.

“If the culture dictates that we do not bury at night, let us hold on for another 12 hours so that the family gets to bury the following day,” said Amoth.

He said he would be sending an alert to counties to remind them to adhere to the protocols.

“What we need to put in place is to be cognizant of our cultural practices. As long as the body has been taken care of by public officers, the body is safe,” he said.