The Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF) has launched a project that gathers the information available worldwide on the handling and management of people who have died from coronavirus, to promote the right to dignified and respectful treatment for families and the deceased, reported this Tuesday the institution.
These are more than 60 documents from different parts of the world and the objective is to share safe guidelines in the handling of the bodies for health, forensic and funeral personnel, in addition to the bereaved.
The death of a person by Covid-19 “given the possibilities of contagion that the virus can present, affects different professionals of the State and individuals who participate in the process,” explained the EAAF.
In this process, there are nurses and doctors who take care of initial care, including ambulance, funeral, forensic and cemetery personnel.
“But without a doubt, the most important impact is on the family and friends of people who died from this pandemic,” said the scientific organization.
Mercedes Doretti, founder of the group and said that “although the greatest efforts are put in caring for living people, the people who died from Covid-19 and their relatives have the right to dignified and respectful treatment throughout the entire administration of the Body”.
Meanwhile, Luis Fondebrider, also founder and Executive Director of the Team, explained that “the variety of responses from the States, with local, national and international protocols, with areas still unclear, and the variety of cultural and religious practices with the treatment of the dead make it necessary for the information available so far to be concentrated on an accessible website for those who are interested. “
About the documents
The 60 protocols collected include that of the Committee for the International Red Cross, that of the United Nations and those of different countries such as Argentina, Mexico, the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, among others, and of different institutions within each country.
The materials provide recommendations on how to handle the remains of a person killed by Covid-19 or suspected of having been infected.
They also provide information on the level of risk of contagion from contact with the bodies and belongings of people whose death could be linked to the new coronavirus and give instructions on the precautions to be taken by medical, forensic, funeral, and bereaved personnel.
In addition, they suggest preventive behaviors at wakes and burials, both with regard to the number of people and the type of ceremony.
They also include topics such as the safe transport of the remains of victims of the Covid-19 and how to bury or cremate them and the risks and precautions for autopsy cases.
“The documents also tell us what we can learn from the disease by testing the remains of people who died from Covid or who are suspected of having died from the virus,” said the EAAF.
The repository can be viewed at https://eaaf.org/covid-biblioteca-forense/ and will be updated periodically, the institution anticipated.