(QCOSTARICA) Through an amendment to the General Cemetery Regulations, the Government ordered public and private cemeteries to reserve at least 5% of the niches for eventual victims of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Due to the global pandemic that is being experienced due to COVID-19 disease, this point must be detailed, in order to provide adequate management of corpses and reduce the risk of contamination of bioinfectious origin,” states the amendment signed by President Carlos Alvarado, and the Minister of Health, Daniel Salas.
As originally stated in the regulations, burials must be made between 24 and 36 hours after death. However, the modification gives authority to the doctor in charge of the morgue of public and private hospitals to issue a certification, so that the burial is done urgently, before the above, “because there is a danger to the health of the population.”
In the event that the pathologist is not available, the certification may be issued by the director of the hospital.
The modification made to this regulation guarantees the proper management of the bodies in cases of mass deaths, natural disasters and health emergencies such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, these are necessary for proper coordination and intersectoral responsibility in the country.
It is also detailed in the document that the cemetery staff are in charge of carrying out burials or burials in the event of massive deaths from natural disasters or health emergencies such as in the pandemic.
As of Thursday, July 30, Costa Rica reported 140 deaths related to the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The Ministry of Health bans mass graves to bury COVID-19 deaths in the country.