"They are our brothers and sisters. They are our family that has fallen victim to this pandemic. Even some of them died while on duty. Let us pay our respect to them. There is no reason to be afraid or reject (the bodies),” said spokesperson for COVID-19 response, Achmad Yurianto, at a press conference here on Saturday.
He assured that bodies of patients who have succumbed to COVID-19 are being treated as per international protocols. The bodies are wrapped in plastic bags before they are placed and sealed into coffins, which are then sprayed with disinfectant, he informed.
All these processes are being handled by trained officers, hence there is no chance for the spread of coronavirus to areas near a cemetery, Yurianto said.
"In addition, the protocol on the burial of the bodies is in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Religious Affairs Ministry and based on the fatwa of the Indonesian Ulema Council No. 18/2020," he added.
Despite repeated explanations from the government and health experts, some people are still objecting to burial of COVID-19 patients in their areas due to fears surrounding the spread of the contagion.
On Thursday (April 9), objections were raised against the burial of a nurse from the Kariadi General Hospital in Semarang, Central Java, sparking public outrage.
The government, Yurianto continued, would do its utmost to protect all citizens from COVID-19 transmission.
The government has lauded the public's support in helping authorities to fight the coronavirus outbreak, he stated.
"We thank all Indonesian citizens who have complied with the regulation and have had the discipline to jointly control this disease and cut its chain of transmission," he said.
The number of COVID-19 patients in Indonesia has continued to increase, with 330 new cases on Saturday taking the total tally of confirmed cases to 3,842, according to the Task Force for Acceleration of COVID-19 Handling.
Of the total COVID-19 patients, 286 have recovered, while 327 have died.
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