by Linda Straker
- Man who died on Sunday, 3 January 2021, has been cremated
- WHO recommends burial or cremation
- Grenada continues to be under a state of emergency
The surviving family of Grenada’s first Covid-19 related death has cremated the body of the 72-year-old man who died on Sunday, 3 January 2021, less than 3 weeks after he returned to the island from the USA.
“The Chief Medical Officer of the Ministry of Health confirms that Grenada has regrettably recorded its first Covid-19 related death. The deceased individual is a 72-year-old male, who arrived in Grenada with his wife and a 3-year-old grandchild on 16 December 2020. Ministry officials extend their deepest condolences to the family of the deceased,” said the news release from the Ministry of Health which announced the death.
In accordance with the current entry protocol, the grandfather from the parish of St Andrew received approval for home quarantine, and while at home he began showing symptoms of Covid-19.
On Monday, a senior health official confirmed the cremation. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended people who have died from Covid-19 can be buried or cremated, conforming to national and local requirements that may dictate the handling and disposition of the remains.
“The WHO recommends to bury or cremate, so what is done will be a decision between the undertakers and the family,” said Dr Francis Martin, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health.
“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 hands thoroughly with soap and water after the viewing. 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,” said the WHO guidelines which were published shortly after Covid-19 was declared a pandemic.
Grenada continues to be under a state of emergency, and under the Emergency Powers regulations, attendance at funeral services and burials is limited to 10 persons. His wife, children and grandchildren survive the deceased.
Since the first case was announced in March 2020, the WHO dashboard shows that Grenada has had 134 confirmed cases.
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