People Got infected with the Coronavirus After They Bathed the Corpse of a COVID-19 Patient as a Ritual

15 villagers in East Java, Indonesia, were infected with the Coronavirus.

Reason? They opened the casket of a COVID-19 patient to perform a traditional bathing ritual on the corpse.

According to acting Sidoarjo Regent Nur Ahmad Syaifudin, he told reporters on Sunday that the relatives and neighbours of the deceased opened the plastic wrap on the deceased body, and even bathed the body.

The deceased had tested positive for COVID-19 had died two weeks ago in a hospital. At the request of relatives, the deceased body was then sent back home.

Ignoring the health protocols and warnings from local authorities against bathing infected corpses is a grave mistake.

Despite being wrapped in plastic sheeting and placed in a wooden coffin, relatives and neighbours still removed them and performed a normal funeral procession for the deceased body.

It’s like me trying to pass my exam without studying. I probably know that I’ll fail without studying, yet I still chose not to study. Shame on me.

Unclear How Long Virus Stays In Dead Body

It is unclear how long coronavirus stays in the dead body. So far, there isn’t enough data on the infection from dead bodies yet, hence it is important to have proper disposal of the deceased to prevent possible spread from secretions.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO) standards, it states that any person preparing the deceased in a community setting should wear gloves for any contact with the body.

Anyone who has assisted in preparing the body should thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water when finished. On top of that, clothing worn to prepare the body should be immediately removed and washed after the procedure.

In other words, treat the body like it’s alive.

It is most likely that these villagers did not follow through with these standards. While it is unsure how viruses spread from a dead body to humans, there should not be any room for carelessness when handling it.

The villagers were probably too heartbroken mourning over the death of their loved ones to pay attention to these protocols.

Highest Daily Increase Ever Recorded

After the incident, it prompted the Sidoarjo COVID-19 task force to conduct contact tracing in the village.

Subsequently, the task force confirmed that there were 15 cases of infected people in the village. Dozens of other people were also listed as patients under surveillance (PDP).

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After test results were announced on Saturday, Nur stated that there were 45 new confirmed cases. It was the highest daily increase it had ever recorded, and he is probably not proud of it.

To contain the spread of the virus, the village had been partially closed. There is now limited access from and to the village.

He had also ordered the mosque located there to not conduct mass prayers.

East Java is the second-hardest-hit province in Indonesia, with 2,150 confirmed cases and 211 confirmed fatalities as of Sunday.

All of its 38 cities and regencies have been declared red zones, with at least one confirmed case each.

While it is disheartening to see such high numbers hitting Indonesia, it is important to enforce necessary rules and regulations to flatten the curve.

On the other hand, let’s continue to practice good hygiene and social distancing to help Singapore combat COVID-19.


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