- His ashes will be interned in an eight feet deep grave at the cemetery after the cremation
By Sandun A. Jayasekera
The body of the first-ever COVID-19 victim of the country, Ilangampediage Dharmasiri Janananda (61) was cremated last morning at the Kotikawatta crematorium under tight security and in accordance with the international safety specifications.
The body of Mr Janananda was taken to the crematorium by a group of PHIs and the Police from the National Institute of Infections Disease Hospital (NIID) Angoda where he had succumbed to complications of the deadly viral infection. Director General, Health Services (DGHS) Dr. Anil Jasinghe said only two family members were allowed to pay their last respects to the remains of the dead before it was removed to the cemetery for cremation.
“We do all this to ensure that no other person gets infected from the victim. The body was cremated under strict international and World Health Organisation (WHO) specifications outlined for the disposal of a highly contaminated body. I am glad that the family members of the victim realised the situation and cooperated with the health authorities,” Dr. Jasinghe added.
Dr. Jasinghe said the body of Mr Janananda was sprayed with a powerful disinfectant and sealed in an aluminium foil body bag.
His ashes will be interned in an eight feet deep grave at the cemetery after the cremation. The body was released for final rites by the JMO of the NIID and the MOH of Angoda.
He said Mr Janananda was a diabetic, heart patient and had undergone a kidney transplant surgery recently.
Mr Janananda was also a tourist guide and had provided service to a group of German tourists before falling victim to the viral infection.