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Covid-19: funerals ‘should be deferred’

13 March 2020

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PROPOSALS to help contain the coronavirus should include the deferral of all funeral services for victims the prohibition of relatives of the deceased from visiting funeral parlours or undertakers’ offices, the Irish Association of Funeral Directors suggests.

In all cases, the corpse should be placed in a body bag that is sealed and not reopened, the Association says, and funeral limousines or other cars should not be provided. The remains should be moved to a specific location set up for the purpose on the funeral directors’ premises, and no embalming should take place.

The body should be placed in the coffin chosen by the bereaved, closed, and not reopened. Burial or cremation should take place as soon as possible, immediately afterwards.

The Association urges a prohibition of public gatherings including “church services, gatherings at funeral homes, residences, crematorium chapels, etc.” .

About 80 per cent of funerals in Ireland are conducted by members of the Association, whose membership stands at 342.

“These protocols are to ensure that infection does not spread from the deceased or from their close family and friends who may be infected from contact with the deceased or each other, ” the Association says.

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