Information & Culture Minister Lai Mohammed on Friday revealed that government would not allow families of coronavirus victims claim their remains for burial.
The Minister who revealed this during an interview session with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said that the corpses are very contagious at such it would be unwise to release the bodies to the respective families.
He said: “Coronavirus is very dangerous and contagious. There is no medicine for it yet and it is not just capable of killing, overwhelming health care system, it will destroy the economy. In some countries, they are putting dead bodies in big refrigerators because the morgues have filled up. Nigerians should not forget that this is not the type of corpses that can be claimed for burial; it must be handled by the Ministry of Health”.
However, the Minister expressed optimism that the government would use the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to further develop the health facilities in the country.
He said: “We pray sincerely that we will not fall into the same error after we fought Ebola, and we relaxed. We intend to use the opportunity of this coronavirus to improve our health care system at the federal, state and local government levels”.
“Nobody ever thought that what is worse than Ebola will come. The successes we have achieved so far are through technology, sharing data with WHO, US Centre for Disease Control”.
The minister further advised state governors to provide at least 300-bed space facilities in their respective states in case of an upsurge in the coronavirus pandemic.
“The governors must not wait for a deluge of patients before making the preparation. We are not asking them to build hospitals, but if they have facilities that can be converted such as hotels, conference centres, let us know and we will come and accredit them. We will tell them what equipment they would need and what type of training we are going to give as support” he said.