Expert committee maintains cremation of Covid victims only option

By Indika Sri Aravinda

An expert committee has maintained that the cremation of coronavirus victims is the only option at the moment.

The expert committee which met and discussed the matter, had maintained that burial of coronavirus victims cannot be approved in Sri Lanka as yet.

“The committee met and discussed the matter and their position at the moment is that cremation is the only solution,” Director General of Health Services Dr. Asela Gunawardena told Colombo Gazette.

The expert committee is to study the matter further before reaching a final conclusion.

Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi had appointed the expert committee to make recommendations after concerns were raised by Muslims over the refusal by the Government to allow the burial of coronavirus victims.

Thalaimannar had later been proposed as a solution to bury Muslim coronavirus victims.

When the matter was discussed by the cabinet recently most of the cabinet Ministers had agreed to the proposal.

The committee of health experts had later been advised to study the matter and revert.

The UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka Ms Hanaa Singer had earlier written to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa reiterating concerns with the existing Ministry of Health guidelines, which stipulate cremation as the only method for the disposal of bodies suspected of COVID-19 infection.

She had said that the common assumption that people who died of a communicable disease should be cremated to prevent spread is not supported by evidence. Instead, cremation is a matter of cultural choice and available resources. (Colombo Gazette)


  1. Given what could be about to transpire, there may not be enough land in Sri Lanka to bury the dead.

    People must also ask the question: Is it possible for the virus to enter the food-chain through untreated sewage entering the ocean ?


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