Philippines' coronavirus fatality to be cremated: Health chief

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 05 2020 11:24 AM

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A Chinese tourist who died in the Philippines due to the novel coronavirus will be cremated Wednesday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said Wednesday after an initial delay in the rite. 

The 44-year-old fatality from Wuhan City in central China, where the pathogen first emerged, was supposed to be cremated within 12 hours after his death. However, a Chinese-Filipino business group that initially agreed to shoulder the cremation backed out of its promise, Duque told a Senate inquiry on Tuesday. 

A funeral parlor in Araneta Avenue, Quezon City instead agreed to do the cremation with the consent of the fatality's family, said Duque. 

The official said he also directed the health facilities bureau to check whether it is against the law to deny cremation services to patients who died of disease. 

"Kung hindi sinunod ang batas, mayroon dapat sanction kasi hindi naman puwedeng mananaig iyong personal nila na, 'Takot kami kasi ganito pala ang ikinamatay n'yan,'" he said. 

(If the law was not followed, that should be sanctioned because their personal interest cannot prevail when they say, 'We're afraid because that person died of this cause.') 

Cadavers carrying the novel coronavirus are "no longer infectious," the secretary said, citing information from the World Health Organization. 

DZMM, Feb. 5, 2020