Kenya issues new Covid-19 burial protocols

Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi. [Photo: NMG]

September 23rd 2020 – The Ministry of Health issued news Covid-19 protocols, that it says, are in line with the World Health Organization guidelines.

Speaking during Tuesday’s Covid-19 daily updates, Health Chief Administrative Secretary(CAS) Mercy Mwangangi, said that with the newly acquired knowledge on handling Covid-19, the country also reviewed its protocols to ensure that they relate to the new knowledge.

And today we’ll focus on funerals, for those who have tested positive for Coronavirus disease. This indeed has been a matter that has raised great public interest, considering the fact that our culture, our norms, and our communities, attach importance to the manner in which we send off our loved ones,” said Mwangangi.

According to the CAS,  the Health Ministry has updated the burial guidelines, which were last issued in March 2020. The new set of guidelines, propose the following recommendations when it comes to burial rights; That public health officials will supervise the burial process, including where the body will be interred, family members will wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), preservation of bodies will not be allowed and contact with fluids will be avoided.

Families and communities will now be able to play a greater role in the burial of their loved ones, who succumb to Covid-19. And in this regard, it will no longer be necessary for the Ministry of  Health teams, to be dressed in full PPE to take over the burial ceremony while the relatives, friends and family watch from a distance with limited participation,” announced the CAS. 

Further, on the new Covid-19 burial guidelines, the Ministry said that the families will now take center stage in the burial ceremonies, unlike previously witnessed, with the health officials, only present to guide the process to ensure safety.

As per Tuesday’s Covid-19 update, Kenya reported a total of 198 new Covid-19 recoveries, in the last 24 hours,  46 were from home-based care program and 152 from different hospitals nationwide. 

Dr. Mwangangi, however, said 139 new positive cases had been recorded, from a sample size of 1,774. The total number confirmed Covid-19 cases now is at 37,218.

Nine people, succumbed to the disease, bringing the cumulative number of fatalities, to 659.

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