Remains of COVID-19 patients should be cremated immediately, Interior Department says

Local governments should ensure that the remains of COVID-19 patients are cremated within 12 hours after they died, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said yesterday in a statement.

DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said this is necessary because the cadavers of the patients could possibly infect the public.

“The remains of persons who died of communicable diseases such as COVID-19 are potentially infectious and standard precautions should be implemented for every case. That’s why local governments should assign a funeral parlor and crematorium in their areas that are responsible for overseeing [the cremation] of anyone who died of COVID-19,” Año said.

However, Filipino Muslims should not be cremated because it is forbidden in Islam.

“[A]ll remains of our Muslim brothers cannot be cremated but must be buried in the nearest Muslim cemetery within 12 hours from death,” the secretary said.

The World Health Organization has said that there’s no evidence that corpses of COVID-19 patients are infectious but advised health workers and funeral staff to wear personal protective equipment (PPEs) when dealing with a person who died of a suspected or confirmed case of the virus. (via

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