Families in Saudi Arabia barred from burying Ebola victims

The Ministry of Health has issued strict guidelines for the burial of Ebola victims

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The Ministry of Health will not allow the families of Ebola victims to come into contact with their bodies for fear of the virus spreading, Al-Eqtisadiah daily reported.

A circular, sent by the ministry’s assistant undersecretary for preventive healthcare Dr. Abdullah Asiri to all ministry staff, said the bodies of patients who die of Ebola should be carried in stretchers made specifically for this purpose.

The bodies should be transported immediately to the cemetery after being washed inside, not outside, the hospital, the circular said.

The bodies of victims will be placed inside special bags and carried by healthcare professionals who wear protective disposable uniforms, heavy gloves, facial masks and goggles.

Asiri said: “These bags are used because they prevent the remaining parts of the decomposed body from touching the soil inside the grave.

“The instructions should be strictly followed as they are issued by the control committee at the ministry.”

Last August, a suspected Ebola patient died in Jeddah following a cardiac arrest despite doctors’ efforts to resuscitate him.

In a statement, the ministry said the patient would be buried in accordance with Shariah rules, while at the same time the global health measures for epidemic diseases would be followed.
This article was first published in Saudi Gazette on Nov. 3, 2014. https://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20141103223134

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