The commissioner for Health in Lagos, Dr. Akin Abayomi, said Lagos state do not have policy against the release of COVID-19 corpses to family members for burial.
The commissioner made this clarification during a press briefing after a journalist at the press briefing asked why the body of former Chief of Staff to President Buhari, Abba Kyari, was released for burial when the Lai Muhammed Nigeria Miniter of Information and Culture, earlier said that corpses of persons who tested positive for COVID-19, would not be released to families for burial because they are contagious and could increase the spread of the virus. Abayomi, said Lagos state holds no policy of withholding bodies of deceased Coronavirus patients. According to the Commissioner, the bodies of patients with the infectious disease can be released after certain procedures have been followed.
“There is no policy against the release of the deceased with COVID-19 in terms of release for burial. If you demise from any condition, there’s protocol to manage every scenario. The protocol for managing death from COVID-19 is that the body is decontaminated. The body is then placed in a special body bag. We put them in two body bags and then place within a coffin and the coffin is sealed”.
The family is then given the opportunity to come and collect the body and take for burial. The only restriction around burial is that you follow the current state law on congregations and that no more than 25 people in total, including the religious members of the ceremony and the grave diggers, do not exceed 25[attend the burial].” he said.