CMC begins cremating unclaimed bodies

By Indika Sri Aravinda

The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has begun cremating the bodies of unclaimed coronavirus victims.

Most of the bodies are of Muslims who family members have refused to accept as the authorities are refusing to allow them to be buried.

Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera had earlier informed the Health Ministry that unclaimed bodies of coronavirus victims can be cremated.

Responding to advise sought on the matter,  the AG has told the Director General of Health Asela Gunawardena that the bodies can be cremated in terms of the Quarantine Regulations.

The Government had sought the Attorney General’s advise on cremating unclaimed bodies of Covid victims.

The Health Ministry said it has reached out to the Attorney General as the Government is not vested with legal powers to carry out such cremation.

Deputy Director General of Public Health Services Dr. Hemantha Herath had told Colombo Gazette that an issue had arisen as a result of the relatives of Covid victims refusing to provide written consent to cremate the bodies.

The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has been advised to cremate 19 unclaimed infected bodies.

The Colombo Gazette learns that the CMC has been told the bodies cannot continue to remain at the Colombo Mortuary any longer.

Most, if not all the remains are of Muslims killed as a result of the coronavirus.

The relatives of the victims have refused to accept the remains as they must be cremated.

The Government has so far refused to allow Muslims to bury the remains of coronavirus victims. (Colombo Gazette)