by Linda Straker
- Public health protocols provide for Covid-19 deaths to be laid to rest or cremated in 72 hours
- Non Covid-19 deaths can be buried at any time, but necessary protocols must be followed
- All funerals of persons dying from Covid-19 or other causes will be held at cemetery
The various bodies or institutions responsible for disposing of the deceased have made an adjustment to the protocols. All funerals in Grenada will now be held directly at the cemetery where the body will be buried.
The Public Health (Covid-19) (Restrictions on Religious Institutions) Order provided for funeral services to be held at a church or directly at a cemetery. However, the adjustment was made as a way of reducing the exposure of the clergymen, funeral directors, and their agents as well as the family of the deceased.
“We are told that the possibility of the spread of the virus decreases in open spaces as opposed to an indoor environment. It is, for this reason, we have made the following decision as a follow to last week’s joint statement from Government, funeral directors, and the religious community,” said Rev Sylbert Prescod, Chairman of the Conference of Churches of Grenada.
Reading a prepared joint statement by funeral directors, the religious community with the concurrence of the Government of Grenada he said, “All funerals whether they are persons dying from Covid-19 or other causes will be held at the cemetery, and shall be no more than 20 persons and be for a duration of not more than one hour.”
Prescod who is the current head of the Methodist community said that clergy individuals and funeral directors are often the last ones to care for the dead, and having the funeral service in the open space of the cemetery reduces the risk of exposure.
“Every time we have a funeral, regardless of if the person has died from the Covid-19 virus or non-infectious causes, that gathering of persons in a heighten emotional state puts funeral directors, clergymen, and those attending the funeral at risk,” he said.
As of mid-August, Grenada began experiencing an outbreak of Covid-19 which has caused thousands to become infected. As of 27 September, there have been 129 deaths. The public health protocols provide for Covid-19 deaths to be laid to rest or cremated in 72 hours while non Covid-19 deaths can be buried at any time, but the necessary protocols must be followed on the day of interment.
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