In the wake of the matter of the “undignified” burial of former Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) employee James Oyugi Onyango who succumbed to COVID-19 in Siaya County, The government has outlined new guidelines to be followed while burying victims who die from the novel Coronavirus.
“The disposal of human remains from COVID-19 cases should be overseen by a public health official within two days (48 hours) to avoid community practices that would result in more infections through contact,” the Interim Guidelines on Handling of Human Remains infected with COVID-19 in Kenya state.
The family members will be allowed to bury their kin under the supervision of health officials, the bodies will be required to be placed in two leak-proof and tamper-proof body bags., which will then be put in a casket for burial.
The Ministry of Health says the safe disposal of bodies of COVID-19 victims is part of the plan to flatten the curve of the disease which has killed thousands of people globally.
Relatives will not be allowed to touch or kiss the body. Religious and cultural burial practices will be permitted as long as they do not involve any contact with the body.
There will not be an open casket for COVID-19 victims. Once bagged, it must be clearly labeled ‘infectious substance.’
The ministry of health also requires that the adults aged 60 and above and persons with weakened immunity stay far away and avoid directly interacting with the body.
Any material that will be used to handle the body, including the stretcher, the gloves, or any part of the PPE, must be disinfected with sodium hypochlorite.
Failure to adhere to these guidelines will lead to risking getting infected with the disease and putting thousands at risk.