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Directions on the Disposal of Mortal Remains Amended

March 23, 2021

Department of Health

Directions to combat the spread of Covid-19 in mortuaries or at funeral undertakers have been amended.

The health department published the amended Directions in Government Gazette 44297.

The amended Directions on the disposal of mortal remains were drawn up in terms of Disaster Management Act Regulations.

The amended Directions focus on the handling of COVID-19 mortal remains in mortuaries or at funeral undertakers; measures applicable to funerals and the burial or cremation of COVID-19 mortal remains and disposal of COVID-19 mortal remains.

Measures include all persons preparing, transferring, washing, and handling a body must use full PPE at all times; a clear body bag must be used for transferring a body from the place of death to a premise for further handling; human remains and coffins may not be wrapped in plastic; a funeral undertaker must deliver the mortal remains on the day of burial and not the night before the burial and must, at all times, ensure that the remains are not touched; the burial or cremation of the COVID-19 mortal remains must take place within five days from the date of death and a maximum of 50 people are allowed to attend a funeral, including undertaker personnel.

Paragraph 17(9) of the Directions on persons exempted from quarantine is deleted.

The amended Directions came into effect on the date of publication.