by Linda Straker
- Arrangement provides for close to 60 burials to be held privately
- Maximum of 10 persons per event decided by family
- Emergency Powers regulations prohibit all social gatherings such as weddings and funerals
The owners and management of funeral homes and the police, with guidance from the relevant health authorities have reached an arrangement which will ensure that persons who die while the country is in lockdown will be buried.
Edvin Martin, Acting Commissioner of Police, confirmed that the arrangement was agreed to, but declined to provide details that will see close to 60 persons buried. “We are working with them and yes there is an arrangement,” Martin said.
An official at one of the funeral homes said that the arrangement provides for all burials to be held privately with a maximum of 10 persons, and that privacy is maintained by not publicising the date and time of burials.
“The goal is to keep the funeral service and burial very private with a short funeral service while applying the social distancing protocol as advised by the Ministry of Health,” said a representative from one of the 2 major funeral homes.
Dozens of persons have died since the island was placed in lockdown once the limited State of Emergency was declared as part of measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19. However, before that declaration, the undertakers and religious heads had already agreed to keep burial services to 30 minutes with attendance by no more than 25 persons.
“But now under this new arrangement, the maximum number of persons for attendance will be 10 and the family will decide on the 10 persons who will participate in the burial ceremony,” the representative said.
The Emergency Powers 2020 Covid-19 regulations prohibit all social gatherings such as weddings and funerals. The life of that regulation expires on 20 April, but by that time the relevant authorities will inform the nation about the new measures that will be introduced as part of control measures to reduce the spread of the contagion.
Covid-19 which has infected more than a million and caused the death of thousands has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO).