CHIEF Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram has said relatives of covid19 patients who have died can be allowed to view the bodies. He was speaking on Wednesday at the Health Ministry covid19 media conference.
He said guidelines had been sent to funeral agencies and regional health authorities (RHAs) since March for funeral workers and clinicians on how to treat the bodies.
But he admitted, "In terms of viewing the body, we have gotten a number of complaints from relatives that they weren't being allowed to view the body."
Parasram said he had spoken to the president of the Association of Funeral Professionals, Keith Belgrove, on Tuesday on the issue, and added that the RHA CEOs are also aware of the matter.
"It is well within the guidelines that a relative of a covid19 patient who has died can view the body. There are personal protective equipment and infection-prevention control measures that need to be put in place when that is being done, to prevent any infection from being transmitted from the body to any other individual. So that can be done, and it is within the remit of the funeral agencies that can handle the covid19-positive patients."
He stressed viewing the body was not forbidden by the guidelines but there is a special way of doing so to prevent any spread of infection.