KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 — Under revised procedures for the management of remains of Muslim COVID-19 patients, the bodies can now be bathed and shrouded, with the adoption of precautionary measures, said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
Khairy said the bathing and shrouding would be done by a trained mortuary operator at the hospital with the use of complete and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as avoiding aerosol-generating procedure (AGP) activities.
He said only two next-of-kin who were fully vaccinated and wearing complete PPE were allowed to help with the bathing and shrouding at the hospital.
“The MOH would like to announce that the management procedures for bodies of Muslim and non-Muslim COVID-19 victims have been reviewed to ensure they stay relevant with the current situation.
“This review is also in line with the Resolution of the Third Special Meeting of the Muzakarah Committee of the National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs Malaysia in 2021 which convened on July 26, 2021,” he said in a statement today.
Previously, the procedure for handling the remains of Muslim COVID-19 patients allowed only ‘tayammum’ (dry purification using purified sand or dust) to be done without the need for bathing, it was to be managed completely in the hospital without the involvement of the next of kin.
Meanwhile, for the management of non-Muslim bodies of COVID-19 patients, Khairy said if the last rite procedure required a change of new clothes, the clothes could be placed on the body without the AGP procedure and only two fully vaccinated next of kin were allowed to participate.
In addition, under the revised procedures, only one body bag is to be used for each body, as compared to two body bags for one body previously.
According to the Health Minister, the MOH does not set the number of next of kin who can be involved in the funeral ceremony but they must wear PPE.
“The MOH also does not set the number of individuals who attend the ceremony, but it is necessary to wear face masks and avoid overcrowding,” he said.