COVID-19 casualty in Mindanao to be buried sans traditional Muslim rituals

Mar. 15, 2020

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The patient positive with the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) who died Friday (Mar. 13) night will be buried sans the traditional method used by Muslims, the Department of Health Regional Office (DOH-10) said Saturday (Mar. 14).

“We are coordinating with the family in the practice of burial. They have a practice that is contrary to our guidelines. We are negotiating with the family not to push through with these practices, like the washing of the body and the attendance of family members during burial,” Dr. Adriano Suba-an, DOH-10 Regional Director, told reporters during a press conference held at the city hall this morning.

The DOH-10 is closely coordinating with the family for the immediate burial in accordance with the religious belief of the family, although the agency had prevailed over the request for the traditional rituals prior to interment.

“The family is amenable to it,” he said, referring to foregoing the traditional burial practices. But the family insisted on burial and not cremation.

Patient 40, who succumbed from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and severe pneumonia, is the sixth person in the country who died from the effects of COVID-19. His cadaver is tightly sealed to prevent infection, Suba-an said.

Mayor Oscar Moreno, in the same press conference, said the DOH-10 and the city government are in talks with the family of the deceased on the place of burial which could either be in Cagayan de Oro or Patient 40’s hometown in Lanao del Sur.

Under quarantine

Suba-an said Patient 40’s wife and child have been put under quarantine. Other family members who accompanied the latter from Iligan City to Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) were asked to stay inside the facility.

Patient 40 arrived from Metro Manila to the Laguindingan Airport on Mar. 3 and was rushed to a hospital in Iligan City. On Mar. 7, he was brought to the NMMC.

He was said to be showing symptoms of the infection since Feb. 24.

In a previous interview, Suba-an said Patient 40 suffered from shortness of breath and was on ventilator while confined at the NMMC.

The DOH-10 head said they are still in the process of contact tracing and determining the number of people who came in contact with Patient 40.(

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