Undertakers warned coronavirus can stay alive in patients ‘for days after death’

Undertakers in Ireland have been urged to bury coronavirus patients without a funeral service as they can transmit the disease for days after their deaths.

The Irish Association of Funeral Directors (IAFD) said it has been advised by the Dublin City Coroner that Covid-19 can last for several days in the dead.

IAFD recommended undertakers take extra precautions and organise funerals over the phone when dealing with coronavirus cases.

The disease can be transmitted when undertakers pick up victims' bodies, the Irish Mirror reports.

Other radical recommendations issued by IAFD included instructing that transport for families of the deceased, like limousines and saloons, should not be provided.


  • Travellers from Italy coronavirus outbreak zone 'arriving in UK without checks'

  • Coronavirus: France forced to warn people that cocaine doesn't prevent disease

Currently there are 24 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ireland but as there are no confirmed deaths, the measures have not been put in place yet.

A spokesperson for IAFD said: "We have issued a guidance policy to our members in the unfortunate event that they may have to arrange a funeral for a victim of coronavirus.

"Whilst this policy may make for uncomfortable reading it was not our intention to alarm the public or be insensitive to the trauma that loved ones may face should a member of their family die from the disease.

"We will continue to monitor advice from the government and although the health and safety of our members is paramount, we would assure the public that should any of our members be required to arrange a funeral, under these unprecedented circumstances, they will do so with the utmost respect and professionalism for the deceased and their bereaved family."

Keith Massey, of Rom Massey and Son Funeral Directors, told RTE's Today with Sean O'Rourke it's not clear how long the virus remains in the body after the person has died. 

He said the chance of cross-infection with undertaker staff is quite high.

He added: "The thinking is to cut out the contact between the deceased and the living.

"If there's any cross infection, it would be when the deceased is collected.

"The problem is that there is often air trapped in the lungs when someone passes away.

"When you move somebody, that air will come out. They're not too certain how long the virus will stay in the lungs, and that's what they're concerned with. They have been looking at this for the last two or three weeks."

Source: Read Full Article