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DOH Clarifies Position on Wrapping of Coffins in Plastic

January 29, 2021

Department of Health

Directions on the management of human remains that died of COVID-19 do not prescribe the covering of coffins with plastics.

The health department emphasized this in a statement on the wrapping of coffins with plastic.

The department added that the Directions also do not prescribe the “use of biohazard stickers nor wearing full PPE by funeral directors or sanitising of the graves or clothes of people attending the funeral as this is unnecessary”.

The department has received reports of coffins being wrapped in plastic and, in some cases, human remains also being wrapped and biohazard stickers placed on coffins prior to burial.

The requirement of a body bag for burial is being reviewed as the revised guidance from the World Health Organization indicates that transmission of SARS 2 from human remains to people who are alive has not been proven.

The department also pointed out that the exhumation of human remains must be done in accordance with regulations governing the management of human remains promulgated on 22 May 2013.