Remains of Muslim COVID-19 victim placed in cold storage

Remains of Muslim COVID-19 victim placed in cold storage

Remains of Muslim COVID-19 victim placed in cold storage

Written by Staff Writer

21 Dec, 2020 | 10:12 pm

(Colombo) News 1st: The Galle Magistrate’s Court ordered for appropriate action to be taken on a request made by relatives of a deceased Muslim male, a victim of COVID-19, to retain his remains in a cold storage facility at the hospital without cremation.

The patient had passed away at the Karandeniya Hospital on the 19th of December. 

Accordingly, the court ordered the Sri Lanka Police today (21) to seek necessary instructions from the Director-General of Health Services regarding the request made by the aggrieved family members. 


An 84-year-old resident of Deddugoda, Galle was admitted to the Karandeniya Hospital with COVID-19 and died two days after being discharged. 

The body has been taken to the Karapitiya Hospital for the postmortem examination on the instructions of the Public Health Inspector. 

The Police stated in court today (21) that the Judicial Medical Officer had ordered for the body to be isolated and cremated following PCR tests.

Once this decision was announced, a relative of the deceased had opposed the decision while rejecting to accept the remains. 

Another relative who had arrived at the hospital had requested the body be placed in a cold storage facility at the Karapitiya Hospital morgue as per the order issued by the Director-General of Health Services. 

Subsequently, The Police had requested the court today (21) to issue an appropriate order as the situation was hazardous and the hospital does not possess necessary facilities to retain the remains.  

Attorneys representing the relatives of the deceased said the death was determined as a COVID-19 death before the PCR test was conducted.

Pointing out the ambiguity surrounding the death, attorneys had requested for the body to be retained in cold storage at the Karapitiya Hospital until a decision is made by the committee appointed to decide on the course of action to be taken concerning Muslim COVID-19 deaths.

Galle Additional Magistrate Pavithra Sanjeewani Pathirana today ordered that appropriate action be taken on the advice of the Director-General of Health Services after considering the views of both parties.

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