Embalmers are frontliners too during this COVID-19 pandemic

The DeathCare Industry during this time of COVID-19 pandemic crisis is expressing their sentiment for being brushed aside by the government. Funeral home owners are concerned on the health of their personnel because they are as well vulnerable to contract such deadly virus.

Most of the mortuaries in the country does not have enough PPEs due to scarcity of such supplies. They fall back on the old way of employing protective equipment such as raincoats as their coverall suit. It has being reported in the Usapang Funeraria group page on Facebook that there is already one embalmer who is now tagged as PUI or patient under investigation. He is also a senior citizen which makes him highly risk to get infected by the SARS-COV 2, the virus which is responsible to cause Corona Virus Disease 19 (COVID-19). During the early time of outbreak in the country, the embalmer was not informed by the family that the dead body was taken by a swab test which later resulted positive.

There is one call of an embalmer to health care professionals especially the doctors to also inform them if patients who died at home or hospital have been suspected of COVID-19. Although, there is still no study that proves COVID-19 dead bodies can transmit the virus to humans.

Funeral homes owners cannot refuse to provide funeral services to confirmed COVID-19, PUI and PUM deaths during this time as per Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) resolution. Deaths caused by COVID-19 whether it is confirmed, probable or suspected shall be cremated or buried within 12 hours from the time of death. As of this writing, there are already 315 deaths being recorded in the Philippines.

The funeral home owners in the Philippines are appealing to the public that they are also frontliners that need to be given importance during this time of pandemic. They also need the required gears before they get into this battle of disposing the dead bodies because no one knows one of the remains are really infected with COVID-19 with the new study saying this virus is airborne up to 4 meters in a hospital setting. (end)

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