LGUs ordered to help in burial of coronavirus victims

Rambo Talabong
LGUs ordered to help in burial of coronavirus victims
Local government units should also punish funeral homes that refuse to serve the families of coronavirus victims, says Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles

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

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.