Thu, 25 Feb 2021

Johannesburg [South Africa], January 28 (ANI/Sputnik): There is no need to cover the coffins of people who died of COVID-19 in plastic wraps or mark them with biohazard stickers prior to burial, the South African Department of Health said.

"The Department of Health has issued health directions on the management of human remains that died of COVID-19 that prescribes measures to be implemented. These directions do not prescribe the covering of coffins with plastics, use of biohazard stickers nor wearing full PPE by funeral directors or sanitising of the graves or clothes of people attending the funeral as this is unnecessary," the department said in a press release.

Wrapping coffins in plastic is only necessary for parts of South Africa with high water saturation in the soil and normally comes as a separate ordinance from the local authorities in relation to all burials, not only those related to COVID-19, according to the press release.

The South African health authority also cited revised guidance from the World Health Organization as indicating that "transmission of SARS 2 from a human remain to people who are alive has not been proven."The health department stressed that the number of people attending burial ceremonies still had government-set limits to prevent the spread of the virus. As of Thursday, South Africa confirmed over 1.4 million COVID-19 cases, including 42,550 deaths. (ANI/Sputnik)

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