Relatives can take bodies of virus victims home for last rites in KPK

07:08 PM | 6 May, 2020
Relatives can take bodies of virus victims home for last rites in KPK
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PESHAWAR – The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has allowed people to take bodies of coronavirus victims home for the observance of last rites — the bath and prayer before burial — but under strictly defined guidelines.

The provincial health department said no case of transmission of the disease from a dead body has been reported anywhere in the world so far.

According to the department, the decision was made keeping in mind that the provincial government has already issued necessary guidelines for relatives of the deceased persons on taking the body home.

Guidelines

- Relatives would not touch the body without wearing gloves and masks.

- The body would be covered by either cloth coffin or plastic bags for burial.

- The relatives of deceased persons are allowed to bathe the body but after putting on gloves, masks and other protective wear.

- The last sighting of the dead body is also allowed by the government but all the while maintaining social distancing.

- Staff designated by the government would supervise the whole burial process as part of the precautionary measures.

Earlier, the deceased person's body was not allowed to be taken home and burial was also done in isolation by the designated staff of the government.

WHO guidelines

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation has also issued guidelines to perform the burial of a coronavirus patient by taking necessary precautionary measures. 

- Prior to departure: Team composition and preparation of disinfectants.

- Assemble all necessary equipment.

- Arrival at deceased patient home: prepare burial with family and evaluate risks.

- Put on all personal protective equipment (PPE).

- Placement of the body in the body bag.

- Placement of the body bag in a coffin where culturally appropriate.

- Sanitise the family's environment.

- Remove PPE, manage waste and perform hand hygiene.

- Transport the coffin or the body bag to the cemetery.

- Burial at the cemetery: place coffin or body bag into the grave.

- Burial at the cemetery: engaging community for prayers to dissipates tensions and provide respectful time.

- Return to the hospital or team headquarters.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has so far recorded the highest number of fatalities from COVID-19, a total of 194, with 3,499 cases and 875 recoveries.

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