Wakes, burial guidelines during COVID-19 lockdown

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 30 2020 02:49 PM

Funeral service workers wearing protective gear bring a citizen, who died while being investigated for COVID-19 symptoms, to a crematorium specifically dealing with coronavirus cases in Quezon City. Rolex dela Pena, EPA

MANILA- The Philippine government has limited wakes and burials in Luzon to families until April 12 as it barred the public from holding mass gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are government guidelines on wakes and burials under the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon:

1. For deaths unrelated to COVID-19, the Philippine National Police said only the immediate family of the deceased and ministers or officiants are allowed to attend wakes.

2. For deaths due to COVID-19, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said bodies must be placed in cadaver bags which are wrapped, sealed and sprayed with sodium hydrochloride. The remains should be cremated within 12 hours.

3. For Muslim deaths due to COVID-19, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the body should be placed in an air-tight sealed bag and buried in the nearest Muslim cemetery within 12 hours, in accordance to Muslim rites.

Luzon was placed under lockdown until April 12, which meant strict home confinement in all households, suspension of transportation lines, regulation of provision for food and essential health services, and heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce isolation procedures.

The Philippines is in a state of public health emergency over COVID-19 that has spread out of its origin, China, to more than 160 countries and territories since it was first detected late last year.