MANILA, Philippines – The national government ordered local government units (LGUs) to assist families of novel coronavirus victims in the burial of their kin.
“LGUs shall designate funeral service facilities of COVID-19 cases, and provide possible financial assistance to cover the logistics, fuel, salary, and other expenses,” Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said during a Malacañang press briefing on Wednesday, March 25.
Nograles, the spokesman of the government’s coronavirus task force, was reading new guidelines for the lockdown or “enhanced community quarantine” being implemented in Luzon.
The Cabinet secretary added that LGUs should penalize funeral homes that refuse to provide services. They must also ensure burials follow “general infection precautions,” and can order a price freeze on burial services.
COVID-19 victims must be quickly buried, according to the Department of Health. The bodies cannot be viewed by relatives to prevent the risk of infection. Wakes before the burial are also banned as they are considered mass gatherings.
As of Tuesday, March 24, 35 people in the Philippines have died from COVID-19. The Department of Health also confirmed 90 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the total number in the Philippines to 552. – Rappler.com