Sri Lanka issues revised guidelines for burial

The Sri Lankan government has issued guidelines on the disposal of COVID-19 dead bodies, detailing burial requirements, reported Colombopage

Mar 04, 2021
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The Sri Lankan government has issued guidelines on the disposal of COVID-19 dead bodies, detailing burial requirements, reported Colombopage. The guidelines came a week after the government reversed its policy of forced cremation under domestic and international pressure. 

Under the guidelines, cremation or burial should be carried out within 24 hours after issuing the documents pertaining to the release of the corpse by the appointed authority. After the approval, only two close relatives of the dead would be allowed to present during cremation/burial.

The corpse, however, will not be handed over to relatives. It should be minimally handled throughout the procedure, the guidelines say. 

“It is advised to have the disposition at closest crematorium/ designated cemetery/ designated burial site by the Director-General of Health Services (DGHS),” it says.

It further says that unidentified or unclaimed corpses would only be cremated at the expense of the government. 

The authorities have selected the remote island of Iranathivu, 13 kilometers off the country's northern coast in the Gulf of Mannar for burial. Locals, however, protested the government decision which has angered the Muslim and Christian communities and invited reactions from Islamic nations. 

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