COVID-19: Abba Kyari, Other corpses not infectious - task force

Olufemi Atoyebi, Tobi Aworinde, Tukur Muntari, Ted Odogwu and Wale Oyewale

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The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday said the bodies of persons, who died of coronavirus, were not infectious.

The National Coordinator of the task force, Dr Sani Aliyu, stated this at a media briefing of the PTF in Abuja.

At the briefing, Aliyu and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, apologised for some PTF members’ violation of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control’s protocols at the burial of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, on Saturday.

Members of the task force, who attended the crowded burial, have been heavily criticised for disregarding the NCDC protocols for burial of corpses of people that die of COVID-19.

Dignitaries at the burial included Mustapha,  Aliyu; Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama.

Kyari, who had been undergoing treatment at the First Cardiology Consultants Hospital, Lagos died of COVID-19 on Friday and was buried at Gudu cemetery, Abuja on Saturday.

On Monday, the National Coordinator of the PTF,  Aliyu,  assured the public that the task force would continue to follow its guidelines.

He added that the NCDC guidelines for COVID-19 were reflective of the World Health Organisation’s guidelines.

Aliyu said, “I would like to further clarify the issue of COVID-19 and burial processes. Contrary to what is on social media, the late chief of staff’s body was properly prepared for burial, according to the NCDC guidelines and the Islamic faith.

“The bodies of persons with COVID-19,  as stated by the WHO guidelines and I quote, ‘Except in cases of viral haemorrhagic fever and cholera, dead bodies are generally not infectious.’

“To date, there is no evidence of persons having become infected from exposure to the bodies of persons who have died of  COVID-19.’”

Stop inter-state movements, FG tells govs

Aliyu decried the continued large movements across state borders and called on state governments to put a stop to them as such activities contributed to the increase in COVID-19 cases.

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