The government has given families of COVID-19 victims 24 hours to collect bodies of their loved ones from the mortuary, failure to which the State will bury the remains at the nearest mortuary.

This is part of measures put in place to prevent a pile up of bodies infected with the coronavirus, Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor said. He noted that the bodies are “potentially infectious.”

“To avoid a situation where we have so many bodies lying in the mortuary and these are bodies that are potentially infectious we came to that decision of having that directive that bodies be buried within 24 hours of death,” said Oduor on Citizen TV.

The pathologist said the government shall provide logistical support including transport.

“As government we are going to assist the family transport the body to the place of burial so the question of cost will not come in… Just in case nobody appears within 24 hours we are going to bury the body at the nearest cemetery to where the person died,” he said.

Oduor explained that bodies of coronavirus victims are not being preserved as part of protecting the morticians from getting infected with the virus.

He said remains are being put in two body bags with the outer one being thoroughly disinfected to prevent any infections.

“Embalming is discouraged because this means when the body comes to the mortuary the mortician will start to manipulate it and in the process, there will be splashes that will potentially carry infection,” he said.