Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anton Best is recommending funeral homes end open casket services, out of an abundance of caution, as the COVID-19 cases in Barbados rise to 33 today.
Speaking on a radio call-in programme on Sunday, Dr. Best said there was much that the medical community knew about the new coronavirus (COVID-19) but there was “much that we do not know”.
He was responding to a question from a funeral home operator about the handling of people who have died from the disease.
According to the senior medical officer who is among the team leading the fight against the illness in Barbados, there was still some uncertainty about transmission of COVID-19 from the bodies of persons who died from the illness.
As such, Dr. Best cautioned funeral home operators that after families had viewed their loved ones, the caskets should be closed.
Moreover, he urged them to heighten the use of protective wear when handling these bodies. He stressed that closed casket funerals are his personal recommendation, noting that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had not issued such an urging as yet.
Currently, funerals are allowed to continue but the number of people allowed to attend has been severely restricted to 20 persons. (IMC1)
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