November 13, 2020

Ministry of health says families will now bury their COVID-19 victims

The Ministry of Health has announced that family members will bury their COVID-19 victims going forward.

Government through the Ministry of Health and the Uganda Red Cross initially have been handling burial of all COVID-19 fatalities in order to guarantee safe processes and protecting the community from contracting the Coronavirus.

According to Dr. Josephine Okwera, a member of the Uganda Red Cross, said that the ministry of health will now disinfect the body of the deceased, wrap it in a burial bag and hand it to family members for burial.

“The family members will identify one person who will be there to confirm that this is their person before the body is wrapped,” Dr. Okwera said.

Dr. Dan Okello, the head of the health services at Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) said that this was not done in bad faith and if the families don’t bother with opening the casket, non of the family members can contract COVID-19.

In the early stages of the Coronavirus pandemic in Uganda, a scientific team that specializes in burial arrangements for highly infectious diseases from the Uganda Red Cross was trained and asked to help the government in handling in COVID-19 fatalities.

According to Dr. Okware, the team has handled 146 burials so far.

“The process is expensive because a team has about 10 people and to move the team, we need at least 2 vehicles. The costs are really very high and unsustainable,” Dr. Okware said.

Ugandans who talked to NBS TV about the move however criticized the move by government, saying such diseases are highly infectious and this will put many communities at risk.

According the World Health Organization, there is no scientific evidence that a person can contract COVID-19 from burying a body that is well wrapped.

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