Mr Iddrisu Shani, the Cape Coast Metropolitan Environmental Officer has cautioned families of deceased COVID-19 patients to stop demanding the bodies of their relatives for burial.
“As soon as a person dies from the virus, the burial arrangements become the state’s responsibility to prevent the further spread of the virus among the families and all,” Mr Shani said.
He has, therefore, asked such families to cooperate and collaborate with Municipal Environmental Officers to ensure that their dead relatives were interred in accordance with culture and tradition amidst the safety protocols.
Briefing the Ghana News Agency after the burial of five COVID-19 bodies, including a nine month old baby boy last Friday, Mr Shani expressed concern that some families wanted to bury their infected dead relatives themselves but this was dangerous to do so.
He revealed that more than 25 patients have succumbed to the pandemic in the Metropolis since its outbreak and that there were 12 other bodies awaiting burial by his office.
The death of the nine month old baby threw the Metropolis into a state of shock and disbelief, which led to the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital to perform an autopsy to ascertain the cause of death which turned out to be positive of covid 19.
“I have buried lots of COVID-19 patients but personally, the baby’s burial was a difficult challenge”, Mr Shani noted.
Mr Shani said there was lack of personal protective equipment for his staff to expeditiously bury bodies safely and called for supplies to protect personnel engaged in the evacuation and burial of the bodies.
Mr Shani urged government to include packages for Environmental Health officers in the CoviD-19 frontline crusade to urge them on.
Mr Shani advised Ghanaians to do away with the misconceptions about the pandemic as the new strain of the virus was more dangerous.