MANILA – The Philippine government has recently issued the guidelines on handling the remains of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) fatalities.
Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said persons who died due to Covid-19 will be cremated within 12 hours.
If the deceased is a Muslim, his/her remains must be placed in an airtight sealed bag, and within 12 hours, at the presence of one Imam who will do the Muslim rites, the Covid-19 victim must be buried immediately in the nearest Muslim cemetery.
Under Resolution No. 10 of the Interagency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID), local government units (LGUs) must designate funeral service facilities to handle the remains of the confirmed Covid-19 case and patients under investigation.
LGUs “shall also provide possible financial assistance to cover the logistics, fuel, salary, and other expenses” that will be incurred at the funeral.
“To reiterate funeral services staff and personnel are granted exemptions from the imposed Enhanced Community Quarantine. The said individuals may freely move and travel to ensure that the remains of deceased individuals will be given proper funeral services,” the resolution reads.
Meanwhile, funeral homes that will refuse to pick up or provide logistics and transport of Covid-19 remains will be penalized.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development, on the other hand, is directed to allocate a funeral support fund of PHP25,000 to the indigent confirmed Covid-19 cases and PUIs, regardless if they are undergoing home quarantine or admitted at a hospital. (PNA)