PCR tests on dead bodies not mandatory | Sunday Observer

PCR tests on dead bodies not mandatory

15 November, 2020

The Ministry of Health (MoH) is taking steps to reverse a recent decision by the Registrar General making it mandatory for family members of a deceased to take a PCR test before the final rites are performed.

A source from the MoH said the reversed decision will be announced soon.The Registrar General has told officials to immediately halt the registration of deaths in high-risk and low-risk areas and release the body only after a PCR is performed.

“This was a wrong move. Not everyone can get a PCR test done. What if someone dies in a remote village in Anuradhapura,” the source asked, adding that letters were being prepared to rectify the decision.

The MoH has begun to conduct PCR tests on suspicious deaths, especially of thosein high-risk areas. Several persons who died in their homes later tested positive for the virus.

Of the five deaths reported on Friday (13), three died in their homes.

According to the National Operation Centre for the Prevention of Covid-19 (NOCPOC), one victim was an 83-year-old female from Colombo 14 and officials said the cause of death was a Covid-19 infection with high blood pressure and diabetes.

The others were, a male(78) from Colombo 13 who died at his home caused by a heart attack due to Covid-19, and a male (64) from Colombo 13 who died in his home. Officials said he suffered from asthma and cited the Covid-19 infection as the cause of death.

On the same day a male (69), from Ratmalana died on admission to the Ratmalana Hospital due to a chest pain.

Officials said he was a diabetic and high blood pressure patient, adding that the heart attack triggered by Covid-19 had caused his death.