Home Lagos COVID-19: We Didn’t Make Any Law against Release of Corpses to Relatives ― LASG

COVID-19: We Didn’t Make Any Law against Release of Corpses to Relatives ― LASG

by John Asama
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The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, has said there was no existing law in the state that prohibits them from releasing the bodies of COVID-19 dead patients to their relatives even as he disclosed that no fewer than 1 million households have been reached in the search for active cases of COVID-19 in communities.

Giving updates on the containment efforts of the virus in the state during a pressing conference further disclosed that the state government will soon issue a policy on the use of facemasks, adding that already the state has commenced mass production of local face mask.

Abayomi explained that families of dead COVID-19 patients can collect the bodies of their loved ones after the bodies have been decontaminated and put in double plastic bags and finally placed in a sealed coffin.

“There are no existing laws that empowered us to deny the families of deceased bodies. The protocol for managing death from COVID-19 is that the body is decontaminated, and then placed in special body bags; sometimes you can double it then place in a casket. And the coffin is sealed. Then the family will be given an opportunity to come and collect the body and take him for burial.

The only issue is that in relation to the existing laws, the burial will have no more than 25 people including the grave-digger in attendance. So there is no current law that allows us to deny relatives the body of the person that died of COVID-19.  It is just to be done in a procedure that doesn’t expose family members and relatives to danger.”

On facemasks, Abayomi who said the state government will soon come up with a guideline on the use of face masks said the state government has commenced local production of facemasks.

Abayomi disclosed that wearing of face masks does not protect against COVID-19 Infection but rather protect people around an infected person from the an increase amount of aerosol generated from coughing or sneezing.

“There is some theoretical evidence that the wearing of masks may indeed reduce the amount of droplets in the environment from the person that is infected with COVID19 and that is the reason why we are beginning to define the strategy of face masks for the general community”, he said.

He said the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has already given instructions that tailors and seamstresses should be commissioned to commence mass production of locally made face masks from a standard design that has been given to them.

He stated that the wearing of the homemade mask is just to reduce the amount of droplets that may be produced and aerosolized by the process of coughing and sneezing.

“Tailors and seamstresses are empowered to produce and provide standard home-made face mask that the public can gain access to and wear without pulling on the limited stocks of professional face masks that health professional require such that in a couple of weeks, we will be able to mass produce locally made face masks not medical mask”.

He noted that the State is not encouraging the public to go and purchase medical mask because it would deprive the medical community of the medical mask that they require for their professional activity.

“We are not encouraging the general public to purchase a surgical mask in order not to put a strain on the already short supply of medical face masks.  Home-made masks help to reduce the amount of droplets you may produce but the wearing of face masks don’t protect you from COVID-19 infection. It is just to protect people around you in the process of coughing.

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“COVID-19 is not an airborne infection, in the process of coughing or sneezing you produce droplets in the air, and therefore spread through that means. Mr Governor has given instructions that our tailor should commence immediate production of face masks in local fabrics so that very soon we will have enough locally produced face mask”

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