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Health minister: No more tests for non-Covid-19 corpses

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Cemetery workers prepare to burn the body of a deceased Covid-19 patient in Siem Reap province. SUPPLIED

Health minister: No more tests for non-Covid-19 corpses

The Ministry of Health has instructed relevant authorities to stop running Covid-19 tests on the body of anyone who dies from causes other than the disease.

According to a directive on the safe management of corpses signed by health minister Mam Bun Heng on October 21, this applies to all cases, be it at hospital or at home.

Bun Heng said the management of non-Covid-19 corpses can now follow traditions as usual, but in the new normal as stated in the ministry's guidelines.

The corpse management process starts with hospital. First, once the body arrives at the hospital, it is the responsibility of the hospital to manage it. If the relatives of the deceased do not come to get the body, it will be handed over to authorities or pagoda for them to handle according to traditions.

As for the body of anyone who dies at home, the family can manage it as usual and can also seek assistance from local authorities or health officials.

“Family members and relatives must not touch the body directly and the corpse must be cremated shortly. Commune authorities have to issue a written permission for the body to be cremated or buried immediately,” the directive said.

The gathering at home for funeral must not exceed 30 persons, and participants have to follow health measures strictly.

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