Pakistan joins other nations in issuing guidelines for burial of the dead

Web Desk
In this file photo, the deceased's relatives can be seen offering their final prayers. The funeral of reited Maj Sardar Ilyas, who died due to coronavirus, was held at his native graveyard in Abbottabad on Sunday. -PPI 

Pakistani authorities have issued official guidelines for the burial of those who are suspected to have died of the coronavirus. 

Body of Major (retd) Sardar Ilyas being taken for burial by officials wearing protective gear.

According to a copy of the guidelines, shared by the Sindh government, next of kin have been advised to maintain distance and minimise their exposure to the dead body. 

The guidelines say the family of the deceased has to be counselled on the risks of the disease spreading so that they comply with and understand the guidelines. 

Read also: Karachi morgues closed over coronavirus fears

A designated team, depending on the individual's gender, will prepare the body for burial. The team and any family member, if they wish to participate in preparing the body, have been strictly ordered to wear personal protective equipment (PPEs).

As the body is prepared, all clothing will need to be disposed of properly in an infectious waste bag. The body will be given dry ablution, wrapped in a kaffan and then packed in a plastic bag. 

All surfaces and the wrapped body will be disinfected with chlorine, before it is placed inside a coffin and sealed. 

The government has warned that the coffin must not be opened under under any condition once this process is complete.

The body will then be transported to the burial site in a designated vehicle.

For the funeral prayers, the Sindh government has recommended against a large gathering and to ensure social distancing.

The body will be laid into the grave by the designated team, after which the family will be allowed to participate in the closing of the grave.