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City gov’t to pay cremation of dead due to virus, `suspects’

The city government will shoulder the cremation payment for those who died of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and those whose test results have yet to be released but died while having the symptoms.

On Thursday in an interview over Davao City Disaster Radio, Mayor Sara Duterte said the city government decided to process the payment for cremation of those who died at the Southern Philippines Medical Center after the hospital reported that cadavers of those who were found positive of the virus and those who were suspected to have died of the virus have piled up.

“Most of these patients were not cremated immediately as the cremation is costly,” she said, “so we decided to shoulder the charges to prevent this (piling-up of corpses) from happening.”

She said that cremation costs P40,000 to P50,000.

She said 24 cadavers were at the hospital’s morgue, 14 of them were positive of the virus, while the test results of the remaining bodies have not arrived yet.

“With this, there is a possibility that we can cremate even those who tested negative,” she said, pointing out that the health experts recommended that corpses be immediately cremated as a proper way of handling these cases.

She added that the city has three cremation facilities only and that there are times that these facilities even refuse to create some patients. “So what we do now is that we (city government) guarantee the cremation charges to prevent the piling-up of these corpses,” she said.

Based on the protocols of the Department of Health, those who died of the disease must be cremated within 12 hours after their death even if the results of their tests have yet to be released.

The mayor also warned those who would violate the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) protocols that the city government will not shoulder their cremation if they died of the disease.

“The more you go outside, the more you are exposed, the more chances of acquiring Covid-19 and the more it will lead you to cremation. If you happen to violate the ECQ protocols and you get sick, the city government will not shoulder your hospital bills, nor your cremation charges. So better to stay at home and follow orders from the city government,” she said. (With Warren Elijah E. Valdez)

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