The Lagos State government has reacted to the release of the remains of the late Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari, for burial.
During a briefing on Sunday, Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, said there is no policy against the release of dead coronavirus (COVID-19) patients to their families.
Abayomi noted that the only restriction on burial is the number of people who can attend the burial ceremony. He said the crowd must not be more than 25 people, including the clerics the ceremony and the grave-diggers.
He said: “There is no policy against the release of the diseased with COVID-19 in terms of release for burial. If you demise from any condition, there is a protocol to manage any scenario.
“The protocol for managing death from COVID-19 is that the body is decontaminated, and now placed in a special body bag.
“We put them in two body bags and then place within a coffin, then the coffin is sealed. The family is then given the opportunity to collect the body and be taken for burial.
“So, there is no current policy that bars us from handing over the deceased to their family members.
“It just has to be done in a way that does not expose family members or does not break the current law around the number of people to be aggregated in one place.”
Abayomi said the government would allow family members of dead COVID-19 patients to conduct a private burial for their loved ones after carrying out a proper protocol for decontaminating the body.
The commissioner also said the families must ensure that the body was sealed in body bags and further sealed in a coffin.