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Apr 8, 2020

What Do We Do With Deceased COVID-19 Patients?

Marvin Manzanero

The body of fifty-five-year-old Hubert Pipersburgh, the first casualty of COVID-19 in Belize, was reportedly cremated on Monday night.  The disposal of the remains of patients who succumb to complications related to the novel coronavirus has since become a question, as it is expected that there may be other deaths associated with the pandemic locally.  This afternoon on ‘Ask the Experts,’ Director of Health Services, Doctor Marvin Manzanero explained the procedures approved by the World Health Organization on how to deal with the burial of a COVID-19 patient.

 

Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“There are specific recommendation in terms of what should be done with the cadaver of a patient who has died of COVID-19.  We are not considering doing an autopsy on anybody who had a diagnosis of COVID-19, I need to say that off the bat, almost immediately.  We also are not considering that a body should be kept in the morgue for not even an overnight stay.  As long as the cadaver is, we have to find a means of getting it to the family, following the proper processes and we’ll probably have somebody from public health come and explain all that that means for the family.  There are two things that I think we need to be aware of and we need to be very, very clear on that; understand that somebody who is critically ill under a COVID-19 situation is not going to be allowed any visitation.  Even the two patients, both in Corozal and Karl Heusner, visitors are not allowed.  So you are not going to necessarily be seeing your family members.”


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