DOH underscores handling of corpse of COVID-19 victims

THE Department of Health Western Visayas Center for Health and Development (DOH WV CHD) emphasized the need to follow the protocols on the burial or cremation of individuals who died with an infectious disease.

“We have to abide by the Sanitation Code of the Philippines wherein patients who died with an infectious disease should be buried within 24 hours. Kun indi na sya ma-cremate (In the absence of cremation), we have to bury the body within 24 hours, ” said Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU) head Dr. Jessie Glen Alonsabe.

Alonsabe cited that local government units have the responsibility to handle the cadavers in accordance with the sanitation code.

To note, the issue on the management of the corpses of COVID-19 victims stemmed when Gegato-Abecia Funeral Homes Crematory, the DOH-accredited crematorium facility in the island of Panay, temporarily stopped its crematorium services due to technical problems and high volume of human remains they received daily.

Meanwhile, National Immunization Program coordinator and designated DOH 6 spokesperson Dr. Daphynie Teorima said that people who are handling these corpses should wear protective equipment such as hazmat suits.

“They are exposed to the increased level of body fluids of COVID positive patients and these institutions already knew
how to handle and they have been doing this since last year,” Teorima explained during the virtual presser.

Teorima added the LGUs’ role in identifying the graveyards of these cadavers while observing the environmental control standards set to include 25 meters away from the residential area and water source. (PIA-6)