The Ministry of Health has established a special protocol to be followed in the case of the death of a patient who has been infected with the Coronavirus in all mortuary wards of the Kingdom’s hospitals, as well as in the Kingdom’s municipal mortuaries, in order to deal with the death of a patient who has been infected with the Coronavirus.
The remains of the deceased who died as a result of Covid-19 are first entrusted to a team consisting of representatives of the Regional Directorate of the Ministry of Health and those of the Communal Hygiene Office (BCH) from the region in which the patient died.
According to the Ministry of Health, the rituals performed by the deceased’s mortuary attendants, according to the rites of the confession to which he or she belonged, whether in the mortuary room of hospitals or in municipal mortuaries, must be supervised by this local team, in charge of ensuring that the use of water is reduced to a minimum and that these faith-based rituals are carried out with the usual precautions to reduce the risks of transmission of the virus, still present in the remains of the deceased.
The body of the deceased, after these rituals of the mortuary cleansing, and the sealing of its natural orifices, must be placed in a mortuary sheet and then in a hermetically sealed mortuary bag.
On the outer surface of this body bag, the team must apply a suitable disinfectant (e.g. 12-degree bleach).
The body bag is then placed in a coffin, and the room in which this process took place must then be completely disinfected, and the waste is collected according to the usual hygiene rules and follows the sanitary standards required by the infectious waste treatment process.
From the Morgue to the Cemetery
Whether it is from the mortuary room of a hospital establishment, or from the dedicated room in a municipal morgue, up to the cemetery where the burial of the deceased takes place, the team consisting of officers from the regional branch of the Ministry of Health and those of the Municipal Hygiene Office must ensure that the hygiene and isolation measures of the remains are respected, and disinfect the cart that was used to move it, as well as the vehicle that brought it to the cemetery.
At the cemetery, this team must also ensure that the burial of the deceased is carried out quickly and in compliance with the usual hygiene and precautionary standards. The coffin containing the remains of the deceased must be buried at the usual depth, according to the rites determined by each religion, in a supervised and secure area of the cemetery,” explains the Ministry of Health.
For their own health security, relatives and family members may not, at any time, collect or touch the body of their deceased relative, according to the instructions of the same department. In any case, this is not made possible, since the local team, under the supervision of the Ministry of Health, as soon as the death of a patient is announced as a result of Covid-19, must immediately ensure the isolation of the deceased’s body and place the family members in sanitary isolation until their medical evaluation allows them to certify that they are not positive for Covid-19.
This procedure, which is followed throughout the Kingdom, also recommends that the home where the deceased lived be disinfected by the competent officers of the Communal Hygiene Office.