MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Health workers and volunteers in Lanao del Sur wore hazmat suits to give a proper Muslim burial to a patient who tested positive for coronavirus.
The unidentified victim, who was confined at the Amai Pakpak Medical Center (APMC) in Marawi City, was buried late Tuesday afternoon, March 17, at the Maqbara Provincial Public Cemetery located in the same city.
“The burial commenced at 4:50 pm today, March 17, 2020. The team returned to the Centralized Command Center at the Provincial Capitol and went through disinfection procedure. The disposable hazmat suits worn by the frontliners were burned and buried as well,” the provincial government said in a post on its Faceboook page.
Cremation is not an option for Muslims. In the case of the suspected coronavirus patient, local officials said the burial ceremony was modified in accordance with regulations from the Department of Health to make sure the health workers were not unnecessarily exposed to danger.
The ceremony skipped the full washing and ablution of the cadaver as normally required in Islamic rites.
“The body of deceased person is sacred among Muslims. It is the obligation of the living Muslims to perform the last rites to the dead,” said Bangsamoro Interior Minister Naguib Sinarimbo.
As of Wednesday morning, March 18, the Philippines had recorded 202 cases and 17 deaths. Seven patients have recovered.
The Lanao del Sur provincial government also placed the entire province, including Marawi City, under community quarantine on Tuesday.
The local government imposed a curfew from 9 pm to 5 am. Classes are also suspended until April 14. – Rappler.com