FOURTEEN families composed of 40 individuals in Barangay Cogon Pardo, Cebu City have been ordered to undergo home quarantine after they attended the wake of a 60-year-old man who was later found to have died from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
They’ve also been ordered to undergo a swab test to determine if they’ve been infected, said Barangay Captain Harry Eran.
Eran said he allowed relatives of the deceased to hold a wake for three days because they told him he died of something else. His death certificate states cause of death as acute myocardial infarction on Aug. 29, 2020. The death certificate was issued by the attending doctor at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center.
The man was buried on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020.
Eran said he was shocked when he received word from the City Health Department that the man died of Covid-19 and immediately ordered contact tracing.
Aside from the deceased’s close family members and neighbors who attended the wake, those who handled his body were also ordered to undergo quarantine and swab testing, Eran said.
The manager of the funeral parlor that handled the deceased’s body was also surprised.
The manager, who asked not to be named, also pointed to the death certificate.
The Cebu City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) continues to discourage the holding of wakes as it may cause transmission of Covid-19.
City Councilor Joel Garganera, EOC deputy chief implementer, said he received proposals to allow only an overnight wake with only the immediate family in attendance.
But after what happened in Cogon-Pardo, he said he might ban the practice, especially in densely populated areas.
Garganera said when the city was placed on enhanced community quarantine at the end of March, the protocol was to immediately bury or cremate the body.
A wake with a limited number of people was only permitted when the city shifted to modified general community quarantine.
Garganera said the EOC will formulate specific guidelines and endorse these to the mayor so the latter can issue an executive order. (JJL, BBT / JKV)