Davao City gov’t reports shouldering expenses for cremation of 49 COVID-19 fatalities

Published May 5, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Warren Elijah Valdez

DAVAO CITY – A total of 49 remains of patients, who expired directly because or related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), have been cremated in this city.

Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte (HNP / MANILA BULLETIN)
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte (HNP / MANILA BULLETIN)

This was reported by Mayor Sara Duterte in an interview aired over Davao City Disaster Radio on Monday.

She said the expenses incurred for the cremation of the 49 COVID-19 victims were shouldered by the city government since it intervened in the cremation of the coronavirus fatalities last March 15.

Duterte noted that some of the fatalities expired with pending results of their COVID-19 confirmatory tests.

She underscored that even if some of those who died were considered highly or probably infected with the coronavirus, the city government proceeded to handle their cremation even though it was the Department of Health’s (DOH) mandate to do so.

Of the 49 who were cremated, 19 were COVID-19 fatalities, while the rest expired with pending test results.

Duterte said there were still 14 cadavers waiting to be cremated.

“I have already told the one in-charge (for the cremation) to get more slots for the crematorium for the COVID-19 cadavers so than we can remove the backlog on cremation,” she added.

The city mayor previously said that the city government will shoulder the expenses for the cremation of up to 300 cadavers.

As of 5 p.m. of May 4, DOH-Davao has recorded a total number of 142 COVID-19 patients in Davao region, 125 of whom are from Davao City. Of the total number recorded in the region, 20 have died due to the disease, 19 of these were from Davao City and one from Tagum City, Davao del Norte.

Meanwhile, the city government here continues to conduct its case finding in the community to look for symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.

Duterte said that they were looking for individuals with flu-like symptoms such as cough, common colds, fever, and sore throat, as well as diarrhea.

“So far, with the many numbers of individuals that we were looking for and we have checked, we were only able to catch two individuals who tested positive (of COVID-19) from the swabbing,” she added.

The city mayor also said that the City Health Office (CHO) was scheduled to conduct its intensified community case finding until May 15.