by Linda Straker
- All funeral agencies have activated their refrigerated storing protocol
- Only 2 family members will be able to view body for identification purposes
- All funerals will be held directly at cemeteries
All Covid-19 deaths will be buried or cremated within 72 hours from the time of death. Only 2 family members will be able to view the body before it is laid to rest, and all funerals will be held directly at cemeteries.
Grenada’s law provides for deaths for infectious disease be buried forthwith, but the 72 hours was agreed to between the state, religious bodies, and undertakers so that the families will have additional time to grieve.
“The 72 hours are based on the law which states that bodies of an infectious nature must be buried forthwith. However, we are a humane people we have compassion, we want to have respect for the persons who would have lost their loved ones,” Dr Tyhiesia Donald, Acting Director of Medical Services, said during a news conference late Monday.
“Because of that compassion and that respect we want to give to these persons, we thought it necessary to have that discussion and try to extend it to give people a little more time to grieve and to bury their loved ones; hence we went over the forthwith and give persons at least 72 hours to deal with that death,” she explained.
In its recommendations for the handling of a corpse who died from Covid-19 or is classified as a Covid-19 related death, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that family and friends may view the body after it has been prepared for burial, but there should be no touching or kissing of the body.
During the news conference, Clinton Bailey of Bailey’s Funeral Home said that the 2 family members who will be viewing the body, will be for identification purposes, “so that the family will know that it’s the body of their loved one that is being buried.”
Bailey confirmed that all 3 funeral agencies on the island have activated their refrigerated storing protocol. Bodies of Covid-19 related deaths will not be embalmed but will be refrigerated until burial. For the burial, the bodies will be placed a specially sealed bag before being placed in the coffin.
Within the past 4 weeks, Grenada has recorded over 50 Covid-19 related deaths. The island is currently experiencing community spread of the virus and over 4,000 have become infected.
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