Issuing an extraordinary Gazette notification, the Health Ministry has announced new regulations with regards to the cremation of a corpse of a person who has died of COVID-19 virus.
The Gazette notification was issued with the signature of Health Minister Pavithradevi Wanniarachchi.
The regulations were made by the Health Minister under Section two and three of the Quarantine and Prevention of Diseases Ordinance Act.
According to the Gazette notification, it said the cremation of corpse of a person who has died of COVID-19 or the corpse of a person who has died or is suspected to have died of the disease should be cremated at the temperature of 800 to 1,200 degrees Celsius for a minimum period of forty-five minutes to one hour for complete burning.
This procedure should be done for the purpose of prevention of any potential biological threat and at a cemetery or place approved by the proper authority under the supervision of such authority in accordance with the directions issued by the Director General of Health Services.
No person shall handover the corpse of a person who has died or is suspected to have died of COVID-19 to any person except to persons who undertake the necessary duties of cremation, nominated by the proper authority.
The gazette also said the attire and the non-reusable personal protective equipment used by persons who handle the corpse at such a cemetery or place, should incinerated by placing them with the coffin during cremation.
"The reusable equipment should properly decontaminated and disinfected in accordance with the directions issued by the Director General of Health Services.
The ashes of the corpse may be handed over to the next of kin, at the request of such next of kin," the Gazette notification added. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)