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DGHS instructs Galle Police on final rites of COVID-19 victim

23 December 2020 09:01 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Director-General of Health Services, Dr. Asela Gunawardena has informed the Galle Police in writing to conduct the final rites of a COVID-19 infected person at Deddugoda in Galle according to previous circulars for the cremation of COVID-19 victims and to inform the Galle Additional Magistrate, Pavithra Sanjeewani Pathirana about these instructions.

The patient succumbed to COVID-19 on December 19. Taking into consideration the Health Ministry circular for the cremation of COVID-19 victims, the Acting Coroner of the Galle Teaching Hospital, Chandrasena Lokuge ordered the body to be cremated on December 20. The son of the deceased refused to accept the remains unless the body was to be buried. The police and the relatives of the deceased requested the court on December 21 to issue orders with regards to the final rites of the person.

Considering the facts presented by the lawyers who represented the Police and relatives, the Additional Magistrate ordered the Police to act on the instructions of the Health Services Director-General.

The Director-General produced a letter with the instructions on handling the dead body.

The relatives also produced to court a letter from the Director-General to Minister Ali Sabry on providing cold storage to place the body as proposed by the Minister.

On December 22, the Health Services Director General informed Deputy Directors of National Hospitals, Provincial and District Directors of Health Services, all Hospital Directors, Medical Superintendents and all Judicial Medical Officers that the letter was about a discussion he had with Minister Ali Sabry. The letter was not an addition to the previous Circulars and the Extraordinary Gazette No. 2170/8 dated 11.04.2020 for cremation of COVID-19 victims, he added. Therefore, he said only the previously issued circulars and gazettes would be valid.(Sirangika Lokukarawita – Galle)

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