Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said the government’s actions are invariably based on instructions of health officials, taking into consideration the wellbeing of all citizens, and added that the current situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could create difficulties to all, including Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Catholics and others.
Speaking at the all-party representatives meeting at Temple Trees, Mr. Rajapaksa said this in response to the issue raised by representatives of Muslim political parties, who wished to explore the possibility of burying the bodies of those who succumb to COVID-19 instead of cremating the bodies. Health Services Director General Dr. Anil Jasinghe stressed it has been only three months since the COVID-19 virus has been identified and no proper information is available on the exact behaviour of the virus.
"There are various ways of the spread of the virus and health officials try their best to prevent it from spreading. The entirety of Sri Lanka should be considered when cremating the dead bodies. This is a sensitive issue but our focus should be the wellbeing of the entire community," he said. (Lahiru Pothmulla)
Comments - 21
Ahamed-Srilankan Friday, 03 April 2020 10:41 PM
All praises to the Almighty.
If the law of the land is to cremate the deceased of the Covid-19 , the Muslims should follow that as that is the Islamic law. Only the Muslims who don't know the Islamic law will argue against this.
Professor Dinesh Alphonso Saturday, 04 April 2020 02:29 AM
Anil Jayasinghe is incorrect along with the prime minister. Both have a lot of learning to do. Here’s the considerations that needs to be made when dealing with a COVID-19 death.
COVID-19 is an acute respiratory illness caused by COVID-19 virus that predominantly affects the lungs;
Based on current evidence, the COVID-19 virus is transmitted between people through droplets, fomites and close contact, with possible spread through faeces. It is not airborne. As this is a new virus whose source and disease progression are not yet entirely clear, more precautions may be used until further information becomes available;
Except in cases of hemorrhagic fevers (such as Ebola, Marburg) and cholera, dead bodies are generally not infectious. Only the lungs of patients with pandemic influenza, if handled improperly during an autopsy, can be infectious. Otherwise, cadavers do not transmit disease. It is a common myth that persons who have died of a communicable disease should be cremated,
Sam Saturday, 04 April 2020 12:09 PM
Prof ... it’s too early to say how it’s transmitted. Still medicare also not available.
You Better keep you Prof ship
Nishantha Dharmasena Saturday, 04 April 2020 02:37 AM
Publish the WHO guidelines so all citizens can read and understand it. Anil Jayasinghe is so wrong, he is working towards an agenda in guise of protecting Srilankan’s health. Look for WHO
“Infection Prevention and Control for the safe management of a dead body in the context of COVID-19“ for expertise and guidelines. Srilankan experts are clueless.
FIRM Saturday, 04 April 2020 03:00 AM
Let Sri Lanka lead the worldand adopt this strict standard. Do NOT compromise on this. Make this the law until the virus is eliminated.
Do not rely on WHO they are vacillating currently.
saman Saturday, 04 April 2020 04:15 AM
Instead of talking about burial rituals, let us all work together to avoid infection of COVID19 at the first place by following social distancing guidelines and improving personal hygiene by washing hands properly and wearing a face mask correctly.
Andrew Silva Saturday, 04 April 2020 04:24 AM
This is a very sensitive situation for all people but the most important aspect is to understand the dreadful nature of this virus at this point of time. If a corona virus affected person dies the only method to eradicate the virus is to cremate him. All religious leaders should understand this and instruct their people to fallow the medical advise for the benefit of the entire nation.
Sesath Saturday, 04 April 2020 05:12 AM
Don't worry about Hakeem. He is a selfish power hungry terrorist supporter. Relying on religious believes is not going to solve this problem, all religions included. SL is full of people blinded by religion and muslims are the worst lot in that.
From poor to oblivion Saturday, 04 April 2020 05:50 AM
Anil Jayasinghe, be truthful, you are fear mongering and dividing a nation that’s already polarized by racist elements. Read the WHO guidelines properly, Srilanka does not invest in medical research instead doctors rip patients off
Ganesh Saturday, 04 April 2020 06:49 AM
Actually this is to be tolerated as much as possible by us who are people of this country to survive and let survive others among us . However the government should take practical , realistic and appropriate measures to feed the people without letting them go hunger . Elders and children are more considerable with other men and women who have no access to the bare minimum, in that case the local government and other bodies should release their funds to this purposes.
According to news reports , the northern province local bodies are waiting for the governer's order so the Prime minister should look into the barrier if there is anything so , in order to protect them from starvation . So Premier must intervene on behalf of the down trodden.
Sarooj Basheer Saturday, 04 April 2020 06:50 AM
Unfortunately your actions are merely filled with hatred and when 160 other countries can allow to bury why can't you?
Anura Nanayakkara Saturday, 04 April 2020 07:03 AM
Very nicely explained by the Experts!! The whole country should be considered when taking decisions on these sensitive issues.
Great that you understand this. Also, you should understand that it is time for to settle your karma. You have great things in the store.
Rahee Saturday, 04 April 2020 08:57 AM
Lets not take a chance when disposing of bodies. That is the wiser thing to do at this moment. What do we achieve by this debate? I wish this much of attention, discussion, focus and time is put on by all these people to prevent the infection of the virus - especially to control careless and stupid behavior of some who increase the risk of spreading the disease.
Sokrates Saturday, 04 April 2020 09:03 AM
This virus has not been fully researched. According to German virologists, the virus was also detected on metal, cardboard and plastic. The virus was also discovered in dogs, although dogs do not get sick. So there is also the possibility that the virus is briefly preserved on human corpses. With these examples, however, there is hardly any possibility of becoming infected but the slightest possibility of transmission of the virus must be ruled out. So it is absolute correct to cremate corpses even if it violates religious customs.
Ronnie Bugger Saturday, 04 April 2020 09:57 AM
This has nothing to do with how adead body need to be disposed but if one follow the info and images telecast on TV or the internet, one would see that Muslims, men, women and children are involved in arrests, deaths and quarantine operations so lets not make this an issue but abide with what to do with a corpse be it a Muslim or any other religious denomination. Those concerned can raise hell in on issue once the Country is back to normal.
Patroit Saturday, 04 April 2020 10:43 AM
@Mr. Professor Dinesh Alphonso, you mentioned "As this is a new virus ... and disease progression are not yet entirely clear, ...". Therefore, please don't make idiotic definitive statements such as "cadavers do not transmit disease" without knowing how it spread.
Muhammad Iqbal Saturday, 04 April 2020 11:22 AM
Excellent explanation by the doctor and we as Muslims thank him. As a Muslim I agree with cremation. It is OK for this instance. It is well within Islam's correct understanding. All praise belongs to Allah (PBUH).
Lankan Saturday, 04 April 2020 11:48 AM
Looks like the dead are not allowed to rest in peace anymore. Shame on your short sighted decisions. It's not based on any credible scientific foundation but on a cowardly act of going after the dead. Its so stupid that the very people who are implementing this could be eventually undoing the great work of those govt servants and placing their own families at risk of catching this virus. That is if people start to hide their illness and it results in a larger outbreak the risk would be very real in-comparison to the myth you have based your misguided decisions on. I thought Sri Lankans were a bit more intelligent. Fight this virus using your education and brains!
june macapagal Saturday, 04 April 2020 08:57 PM
Anil Jayasinghe is wroking towards the Rajapakse Agenda and will shake his head for everything that these guys tell to say.
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