China says Wuhan coronavirus victims who die should be quickly cremated without funerals as death toll rises

REUTERS/Thomas PeterA hospital staff member in protective garments talks to a police officer at a checkpoint to the Hubei province exclusion zone at the Jiujiang Yangtze River Bridge in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province, China, as the country is hit by an outbreak of a new coronavirus, February 1, 2020.
  • New trial regulations from China’s National Health Commission (NHC) have banned funerals and other similar activities involving the corpses of deceased victims of the novel coronavirus.
  • The new regulations on the disposal of remains come as the NHC announced that the death toll had risen to 304. A total of 14,380 people have been infected.
  • In an earlier announcement, the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs advised people to hold quick and simple funerals and avoid large gatherings to help prevent the virus from spreading further.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

China has banned funerals, burials and other related activities involving the corpses of deceased victims of the novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, according to new trial regulations issued Saturday to slow the spread.

China’s National Health Commission (NHC), together with the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the Ministry of Public Security, issued new regulations Saturday stating that all victims who succumb to the virus must be cremated at the nearest facility. “No farewell ceremonies or other funeral activities involving the corpse shall be held,” the NHC announcement reads.

The new regulations come as the death toll for the novel coronavirus (nCoV-2019) continues to rise.

The NHC reported in a separate update that as of the end of Saturday, 304 people have died and 14,380 people have been infected by the virus, which has spread across all of China and to around two dozen other countries.

In China, according to the NHC guidelines issued Saturday, if a coronavirus victims dies, the following measures are to be taken as quickly as possible.

First, the medical staff at the medical facility where the person was being treated are required to disinfect and seal the remains. It is forbidden to open the remains once they have been sealed. Second, the medical staff will issue a death certificate and notify the family. At this point, the local funeral services facility will be contacted. Third, funeral services personnel will then collect the body, deliver it to the relevant facility, and directly cremate the remains. A cremation certificate will then be issued.

No one is permitted to visit the remains during this process. Relatives will, however, be allowed to take the remains after cremation has been completed and documented, the NHC explained in its Saturday announcement.

An earlier announcement from the Ministry of Civil Affairs,according to the state-run People’s Daily, has advised people to hold quick and easy funerals and avoid large gatherings to help prevent the virus from spreading further.

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