The dead body of a COVID-19 patient cannot transmit the virus, a Nigerian medical doctor in the Philippines, Dr. Paul Godfrey has declared.
Godfreay made this known in a detailed online lecture on COVID-19 with acaemic staff of the Kwara State University, Malete, tonight.
Answering questions on the fear that the dead body of the disease’s patient could be infectious, he explained: “According to WHO, except in cases of hemorrhagic fevers (such as Ebola, Marburg) and cholera, dead bodies are generally not infectious. Only the lungs of patients with pandemic influenza, if handled improperly during an autopsy, can be infectious. Otherwise, cadavers do not transmit disease.
“In addition, Dr. Somsak Akhasilp, the director-general of Department of Medical Services (DMS) in Thailand, said the virus dies when its host dies and there is no chance of it being transmitted to another person.”
The medical expert, therefore, advised the Nigerian government to release the deceased patients to their families and supervise their burials instead of denying them access to the corpses.
Doing so, he exlained, would guard against hiding known COVID-19 cases in the country.
According to him, “That is a mistake in the part of our Nigerian government.
“Making such policy will definitely cause people to hide the known or suspected cases of COVID-19 around that.
“Our government health and legal advisers should know the consequences of such policies in the fight against COVID-19.
“In most countries abroad here, dead bodies are buried in cemeteries and not at homes.
“However, in case of Nigeria where corpses are buried at homes, I would have advised that our government supervise the burial of such corpses, instead of denying access to the relatives to avoid hiding more cases of COVID-19.”