City officials seek to make spaces in Oaxaca cemeteries for victims of coronavirus


If the old niches of between 1800 and 1900 are recovered, there could be space to introduce up to 2,800 urns of victims cremated by the pandemic

The director of Pantheons and Cleaning Services of the City of Oaxaca, Humberto Benitez Contreras, affirmed that new spaces are being enabled in cemeteries to bury victims of coronavirus in that area of ​​the state.

He affirmed that by the new norms and guidelines all the bodies of victims of covid-19 will have to be cremated, to avoid the spread of the virus, and without carrying out public funerals.

He explained that since March to date 20 victims of covid-19 have been buried, of which 17 were in hermetic coffins and three have been cremated and deposited in ballot boxes.

He mentioned that if the number of victims grows, there is no longer space in graves, so they are looking to make use of the niches that the San Miguel cemetery has.

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He specified that up to 16 urn of cremated bodies can be entered in each niche, having 200 spaces available.

“We are enabling and rescuing niches that were built since the beginning of the century between 1800 and 1900, to enable them as a space for victims who may register in the city in the coming days.”

“We have an estimate that at the peak of the curve of the pandemic by covid-19 there could be up to 2,800 additional victims to those already reported, and for this, we are already looking for space.”

Meanwhile, the Secretary of Health of Oaxaca, Donato Casas, said that an immediate cremation protocol is applied to the victims of covid-19 and that morgues and Cemefos will not be used to confine corpses, in addition to the fact that no graves were enabled in cemeteries.

Casas assured that according to the pandemic protocol it will be necessary to cremate the corpses of people who die from the Covid-19 coronavirus.

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Remains of coronavirus victims

He explained that the precautions to be followed by the workers for the handling of corpses are that the health personnel who attend to and deliver the corpse from the hospital unit must previously inform the personnel involved in the transport of the type of case and the procedures to be followed regarding personal protection measures.

The corpse must be placed in a sanitary bag with a hermetic and plasticized closure, which must be done inside the isolation room itself; once closed, it must be sprayed in its entirety with disinfectant for hospital use or with a hypochlorite solution at one percent, and place a card in front of the bag with the identification data of the deceased person.

He also explained that in the management by the funeral home, the company will be responsible for the proper classification and use of the waste that may be generated, which will be classified as Biologically Infectious Hazardous Waste (RPBI), which must be delivered to the company authorized for collection and final destination.

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In this regard, he added, the body must be handled in the sealed bag and the personnel involved must be properly trained and have personal protective equipment (PPE), which includes a surgical mask and sterile gloves. 

The embalming cannot be carried out and in the transport section, after the transfer of the body to the personnel for burial or cremation, the vehicle will be decontaminated with 1% hypochlorite.

The sanitary bag containing the body must be sealed and can be inserted into the normal coffin.

The final destination will be by burial or cremation, in accordance with the provisions of the Regulations of the General Health Law regarding sanitary control of the disposal of organs, tissues, and corpses of human beings.

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He stressed that contact with the corpse will not be allowed, nor its visualization, and it must be in a sealed coffin. The burial or cremation must be carried out immediately and as a preventive measure, the vigil service is prohibited; No wakes will be allowed in private homes.

Fumigan panteones de la ciudad – Reporte Oaxaca


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