Environmental Health Officials in the Greater Accra Region have buried six Covid-19 infected bodies at the Awodome cemetery.
Although the officials planned for eight bodies, members of two families failed to show up in the first-ever Covid-19 public burial since the third wave hit Ghana.
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has recorded a total of 945 deaths since Covid-19 hit the country.
Speaking with JoyNews‘ Maame Esi Thompson, shortly after the burial, the Environmental Health Director of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Joseph Asitanga cautioned the public against what he observed as a disregard for the Covid-19 protocols, reminding that the virus is real.
“I want to tell every Ghanaian that the Covid is real,” he said.
Five of the bodies were from the Greater Accra Regional Hospital and one from the Ga East Hospital.
The Health Director said the protocols of the burial demands that “when the person passes on and we are informed that it is Covid, details of the dead person is recorded in our office then we start the process.
“Bear in mind that the law does not permit us to give the bodies to the family members, so when a person passes on, we do much counselling for the family.
According to him, education is provided for the family “and we tell them that this is a pandemic, and therefore, a pandemic is handled by the government so we help to handle the body.
“We will do everything possible to help lay the person to rest so, at the mortuary level, the bodies are kept at a different session from the other bodies.”
He further explained that apart from disinfecting the body for burial, “we disinfect the whole area, the vehicle that will carry the body, the coffin, even the grave.
“The people who are to do the handling are adequately protected with the PPEs, you the media people, before you have access to come and join the programme, we must protect you.
He added, “After we finish the covering [of the grave] we will disinfect the whole place again before we leave.”
Meanwhile, some aggrieved families of the deceased disagreed that their relatives died of Covid-19.
“She did not die of Covid because if it was, her children who attended to her at the hospital would have been quarantined,” one told JoyNews.
He quizzed, “Why then have the children been left to walk about in public, then all of us would be affected by the virus so if we behave like this in this world, it’s very painful.”
Another relative said, “we lost her I think about 10 days ago. My sibling did not contract Covid-19 because if it were so, all those who were around her before her demise would have been isolated.
According to him, his sibling was diagnosed with kidney failure and my sibling died, “you said you were taking her to a special ward, just some few hours you said she had contracted Covid.”
Mr Asitanga however refuted the assertion, “it doesn’t pay any doctor, doctors don’t get a reward for labelling any family member as a Covid body, and we are the last end of solving the problem.”
He said until the medical report indicates that a person died of Covid, “we have no hand in the body.”
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