Open pyre/air cremations for COVID-19 victims will be allowed.
According to a release from the Attorney General, this decision was made following meetings held with the Prime Minister; Ministers of Health, National Security and Energy; medical experts led by the Chief Medical Officer.
The Prime Minister also reportedly authorized the AG to hold immediate discussions with the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, as the largest representative organisation of the Hindu Community, to inform of the permissions and map out the process by which protocols can be immediately formulated for those involved in the cremations.
AG Faris Al Rawi met this afternoon with Dharmacharya, Pundit Dr. Rampersad Parasram, and the SDMS’ legal advisor Dinesh Rambally.
The AG says he informed of the Chief Medical Officer’s caution as to the extreme danger posed by improperly conducted open pyre/air cremations for COVID-19 victims and reminded that it remains difficult to predict the virulence and the vast mutations of the virus.
He also reminded that the Public Health Regulations, guidelines and protocols are not static and that the development of these for the cremations are strictly responsive to and based upon a number of factors including the expert medical advice that the Government receives at any particular point in time.
The AG says the Dharmacharya, who is himself a past Chief Medical Officer, has provided immense assistance to the Government in arriving at the current position.
Those involved are now moving to the immediate settling of the necessary protocols and guidelines which will include the recommendations of the SDMS which shall be delivered to the Office of the Attorney General.
The release from the AG says “Government was not in a position to have come to this decision any sooner and remains grateful for patience and understanding in the management of the ravages caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in which thousands of persons have tragically lost their lives in our beloved country.”