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Ebola style burial bad for COVID-19 victims – Expert

Public health practitioner Prof. Freddie Ssengooba

Kampala, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT | Public health practitioner Prof. Freddie Sengooba has urged the Ministry of Health (MOH) to review and stop the protocol that they are currently using to bury people who succumb to COVID-19.

He said they have borrowed the approach of Ebola hemorrhagic fever which presents differently and is very infectious with a high mortality rate to a respiratory infection whose transmission is known by the majority of the population.

The professor says its things like this that put the government in bad light causing suspicion of officials using the pandemic for monetary gains.  The professor added that people who have attended a COVID-19 burial need not to self- isolate like some health workers are advising.

According to the Ministry of Health, the burial of a person who succumbs to COVID-19 is supposed to be carried out by trained health workers and authorities don’t allow the general population to access the graveyard.

In its guidelines for burial released in April, the ministry maintained that preparation of the body must be conducted at a health facility and that the case management team must disinfect the burial place and wear full personal protective equipment including eye protection.  

Dr Charles Olaro, the Director of Clinical Services in the Ministry says these guidelines were formulated to as much as possible limit transmission, that’s why even people aged 60 and above and those that are immuno-suppressed or have other risk factors are discouraged from participating in the burial.  

So far, 55 people have succumbed to the viral respiratory infection with three deaths confirmed yesterday in Kampala. Currently, Olaro says any unexplained death is treated as a suspect for COVID-19. 

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