QC crafts guidelines for proper handling of cadaver of COVID-19 victims

Published April 14, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Chito Chavez

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said Tuesday that the city government has crafted specific guidelines to ensure that the cadavers of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) victims are efficiently handled and managed by the 14 public hospitals in the city.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte (FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN)
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte

The guidelines were set after Belmonte discovered that the city-based national-run hospitals have been passing the responsibility of processing the burial or cremation of the COVID-19 cadavers to the local government, whether the victims are local residents or not.

Quezon City is home to 14 national government hospitals with some designated by the Department of Health (DOH) as referral hospitals for COVID-19 cases.

Belmonte said “some QC-based national hospitals not designated as referral hospitals are also accepting patients that were later on tested positive for COVID-19.”

She noted that these hospitals also accept patients residing outside Quezon City.

In the localized protocols, Belmonte encouraged hospitals to follow the 12-hour period for cremation of the cadaver as provided under DOH Guidelines 2020-0067, in order to curb the spread of the virus.

In addition, Belmonte urged the government hospitals to designate a point person who will coordinate with city hall to ensure that reports and referrals are coursed through the proper channel.

“The designated point person shall be responsible in reporting to the city government all unclaimed COVID-19 related deaths within a reasonable period of time,” Belmonte said.

She added that the point person should also provide all vital information and process the requirements for the unclaimed cadavers prior to the cremation or burial by the city government.

After receiving the report from the hospital point person, Belmonte explained that the City Social Welfare and Development Department will determine if the deceased will be referred to the Baesa Crematorium if indigent or to funeral service providers accredited by the city government.

If the deceased was not a resident of Quezon City, Belmonte said the point person will coordinate with the family for the cremation. In the absence of a relative, the point person will coordinate with the local government where the deceased resided to facilitate the processing of the cremation or burial.

Belmonte also asked the government hospitals “to ensure that the cadaver is properly stored in a morgue with freezer while awaiting for the schedule of cremation or retrieval to halt untimely decomposition and control the spread of the virus, although the city would aid the hospital to provide this service if needed.”