As the COVID-19 cases increase in Kenya, the number of those who succumbed to the virus is slowly increasing. On matters burial, family and friends of the deceased are required to adhere to guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health for the safe disposal off bodies of COVID-19 victims.
The guidelines, prepared by Health ministry’s acting Director-General Patrick Amoth, outline a step-by-step guide on how the bodies should be handled from death at a health facility to burial. Here is the guide.
- Viewing of bodies of COVID-19 victims in the mortuary before it is transported for burial is not allowed. Relatives wishing to identify their loved ones must use photos, outside the mortuary.
- Adults aged 60 and above and persons with weakened immunity are forbidden from directly interacting with the body
- Postmortem is not mandatory and can only be allowed under unique circumstances with authorisation from a government pathologist, and should be done using minimally invasive procedures.
- Personnel handling the bodies must use facial protection such as face shields, goggles and medical masks and seal all body fluid leaks.
- The body should be packed inside two leak-proof and tamper-proof body bags. The topmost body bag must be wiped with sodium hypochlorite.
- The body must be disposed of or buried by the family as soon as possible under the supervision of the Health Care Provider, the local healthcare committee leader and religious leader,
- Every item that comes into contact with the body or the body bag, or any material used to handle the body, including the stretcher, the gloves, or any part of the PPE, must be disinfected with sodium hypochlorite.