DOH now looking at burying body of nCoV-positive Chinese man
MANILA, Philippines — With owners of crematory facilities refusing to cremate the body of the 44-year-old Chinese man who succumbed to the novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD), the Department of Health (DOH) is now looking at burying the cadaver instead.
“I have instructed the medical center chief of the San Lazaro hospital to coordinate with the public cemetery and see if the corpse can just be buried there because the latest information is they don’t have a cremation process there so I’ll just to wait,” Health Sec. Francisco Duque III said in a press briefing Thursday.
Duque said the San Lazaro Hospital where the Chinese man died on Feb. 1 would have to coordinate with the Chinese Embassy in Manila in enforcing his directive.
“Now, if it’s not going to be cremated and buried instead, I don’t know what the protocol is as regards that,” said Duque.
The DOH and the embassy have earlier agreed that the body should be cremated, in accordance with the advice of Chinese health authorities.
China has also earlier banned funerals and burials as a measure to prevent the spread of the virus.
Local health officials say that the bodies of persons who died due to nCoV are no longer infectious.
The Chinese man was the partner of the country’s first confirmed case of the virus infection—a 38-year-old Chinese woman now in isolation at San Lazaro Hospital. He was the first nCoV-related fatality outside China.
The couple traveled to Cebu from Wuhan through Hong Kong on Jan. 21, then to Dumaguete City on Jan. 22, and to Manila on Jan. 25.
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