THE Cagayan de Oro City Government confirmed over the weekend that the body of the Covid-19 fatality, earlier referred to as patient 40, was buried in the city's public cemetery Bolonsiri in Barangay Camaman-an on Saturday, March 14.
But Mayor Oscar Moreno and health officials assured that the burial was done following the Department of Health (DOH) and World Health Organization (WHO) protocols and in consideration to the religious customs of patient 40, who was a Muslim man.
Officials of City Hall said the public cemetery in Bolonsiri, Barangay Camaman-an is the appropriate burial ground of the Covid-19 victim.
His body was disinfected and placed in multiple airtight, leak-proof sealed cadaver bags to prevent contamination. This was done in Northern Mindanao Medical Center, based in Cagayan de Oro.
The process was in consonance to DOH protocols. The handling of the cadaver was supervised by no less than the chief epidemiologist of the regional office of the DOH, Assistant Regional Director Dave Mendoza.
The Covid-19 victim was interned at the Bolonsiri cemetery in a sealed niche, said Sol Mosqueda, focal person of the city memorial park.
She assured the public that everything was done to prevent contamination and ensure public safety, especially to the communities in the vicinity of the memorial park.
"The public memorial park is the safest and most appropriate burial place. Transporting the cadaver elsewhere poses more danger to the public," she said.
"Disinfection and placing the cadaver in airtight and leakproof cadaver and burial in sealed niche is an alternative to cremation," she said.
Cremation is prohibited by Muslims.
Meanwhile, the Office of Muslim Affairs in Northern Mindanao has expressed gratitude to the City Government, the DOH and Northern Mindanao Medical Center for the dignified, religion-sensitive and safe burial of the Covid-19 victim.
Mayor Oscar Moreno asked the public to be circumspect and not allow raw fear to disrupt normal community living.
"We are doing everything to protect public health and at the same time try to maintain optimal functions and operations of the institutions in the city," Moreno said.
He reiterated that so far, the city has zero local transmission of the Covid-19 virus.
He said Patient 40 was only in Cagayan de Oro for referral at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center, which is the regional referral hospital for Covid-19 cases.