Government to stick to WHO guidelines when disposing bodies

The Government says it will stick to World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines when disposing the bodies of coronavirus victims.

Cabinet co-spokesman Bandula Gunawardena told reporters today that personal opinions cannot be considered when dealing with coronavirus victims.

He said that WHO guidelines and the advise of local health authorities and defence authorities will be given priority.

Yesterday the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) expressed its disappointment to the amendment made by the authorities in the “Provisional Clinical Practice Guidelines on COVID-19 Suspected and Confirmed Patients” in the revised version issued on 31.03.2020, that all bodies of those who die as a result of being infected by COVID- 19 are to be cremated, even though WHO guidelines clearly states people who died from COVID 19 can be buried and many countries too have currently provisioned the option of burial along with cremation.

However, ACJU said that due to the prevailing compelling situation, it will not be regarded as sinful upon the Muslims, if a Janaza is forcefully cremated.

“We urge the Muslim community to exercise patience during this testing period and to pray for the Janaza to be rewarded and compensated in the best manner. We iterate that these are extraordinary times which has engulfed the world and the citizens of our beautiful island. The Government of Sri Lanka is taking every possible measure to prevent the spread of the deadly pandemic and it is our bounden duty to support all of these efforts uniting as one, with our fellow brethren,” ACJU said.

However, the ACJU said that it will make all endeavours to make representations to the authorities, in line with the World Health Organisation guideline titled “Infection Prevention and Control for the safe management of a dead body in the context of COVID-19” dated March 24, 2020.

The said guideline has provisions for the “Cremation and Burial” of those who die as a result of the infection. (Colombo Gazette)

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