Gov’t to bury bodies of coronavirus victims if not picked within 24 hours

Gov't to bury bodies of coronavirus victims if not picked within 24 hours
Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor. PHOTO| COURTESY

Families whose kin die from COVID-19 will be given only 24 hours to pick their loved ones from the mortuary, failure to which the body will be buried by the government at the nearest mortuary.

Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor says this is part of measures put in place to prevent a pile up of bodies infected with the coronavirus which he says are “potentially infectious.”

“To avoid a situation where we have so many bodies lying in the mortuary and these are bodies that are potentially infectious we came to that decision of having that directive that bodies be buried within 24 hours of death,” said Oduor on Citizen TV’s Monday Report show.

He stated that the government shall provide logistical support including transport,  adding that if no family member is available within the 24 hours, the body will be interred at the cemetery nearest to where the person died.

“As government we are going to assist the family transport the body to the place of burial so the question of cost will not come in… Just in case nobody appears within 24 hours we are going to bury the body at the nearest cemetery to where the person died,” he said.

Oduor further disclosed that bodies of coronavirus victims are not being embalmed as part of protecting the morticians from getting infected with the virus.

According to the Chief Government Pathologist, the victims’ remains are being put in two body bags with the outer one being thoroughly disinfected to prevent any infections.

“Embalming is discouraged because this means when the body comes to the mortuary the mortician will start to manipulate it and in the process, there will be splashes that will potentially carry infection.

Meanwhile, the government has since directed that burials be attended by a maximum of 15 close family members to ensure social distancing is maintained.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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