Families whose relatives died as a result of the deadly coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic would not be allowed to bury their dead without the involvement of the state.
As of Monday, March 30, 2020 afternoon, the Ghana Health Service has confirmed that five persons have died of Coronavirus in Ghana out of the 152 who tested positive for the virus. Two persons have so recovered.
Government has, at least, communicated to the family members of one of the dead that the body cannot be released to them, not even for private preservation.
“We regret to inform you that according to our Public Health Regulations, persons who died in such instances are strictly handled and buried by the State,” Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu told the family of Samuel Waterberg who died on Friday, March 27, 2020 in Accra.
The family of Mr. Waterberg who was the Chief Executive Officer of People’s Pension Trust had written to the government through the Netherlands Embassy in Accra, who in turn wrote to the Health Ministry using the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.
They had requested in a letter written on Saturday that the “mortal remains” of Mr. Waterbeg who died of Covid-19 at Ga East Municipal Hospital be transferred to a private mortuary facility.
But the Minister maintained in his response to them on the same day that “unfortunately we are unable to grant your request”.
Samuel Waterberg was a Ghanaian who lived in the Netherlands for 22 years prior to his relocation to Ghana. He had a master’s in Strategic Management from the University of Tilburg, the Netherlands, and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. He was a banker by profession.