Ministry of Health set to release new protocols to guide burial of COVID-19 victims


The Ministry of Health will issue a raft of revised guidelines on the burial of COVID-19 fatalities later in the week, Head of Public Health, Dr. Francis Kuria has announced.

The revised protocols are likely to bid bye to the ‘men in white’ who has previously conducted the strict burials of the over 500 fatalities in the country.

“We know people have had concerns over the ‘men in white’, we hope the protocols as we roll them out will make sure you do not see so many  men in white again,” Dr Kuria said.

Speaking on Monday at the Afya House during the coronavirus briefing, Dr Kuria noted that it was likely that bodies would  be released the next-of-kin for the final send-off.

“We have finalised the revised protocols that are going to guide us while conducting burials moving forward…hopefully the protocols are going to address the concerns of stigma…” Dr Kuria said.

The new measures will be aimed at ensuring that mourners have no contact with bodily fluids of the deceased during the ceremony.

The government also plans to step down supervision during the burials to in a move the Ministry hopes will reduce the stigma around coronavirus deaths.

The latest comes just a day after a study revealed that bodies of coronavirus patients are not as infectious as previously thought.

According to the study,  mourners would be safe from the virus provided they do not come into contact with bodily fluids of the deceased and follow other guidelines such as social distancing.

The Ministry of Health had issued a raft of new protocols when the pandemic was first reported in the country.

The protocols forbade large gatherings at funerals and banned more than 15 people from attending a ceremony at the same time.

Only health workers were allowed to handle the bodies and had to be decked in eerie protective gear at all times.

In some parts of the country, Kenyans had been irked at the manner in which some burials were conducted, with some happening at night under heavy security.

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