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Ministry of Health Explains Motive for Guarded Burial in Kayunga

Police at Naggalama intercepted the A-plus Funeral Management Service vehicle that was transporting the body to Kayunga, on the orders of the Ministry of Health. Subsequently, the Ministry of Health recommended that the deceased be buried by a professional team from the Uganda Red Cross Society to avoid any kind of exposure to family and the community.
21 Apr 2020 15:17
The Red cross safe and deginified burial team taking the body of Ssebuliba for burial. Courtesy photo.

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The Ministry of health has downplayed suspicion and fears arising out of a guarded burial held on Monday in Kasawo Village, Kayunga District. Area residents had earlier feared that the deceased could have succumbed to coronavirus disease-COVID-19. 

The deceased identified as Daniel Bulasiyo Ssebuliba reportedly died in Qatar after collapsing in a bathroom at the beginning of the month. His body was returned into the country on Sunday, aboard a cargo flight, for burial on Monday.  

However, Police at Naggalama intercepted the A-plus Funeral Management Service vehicle that was transporting the body to Kayunga, on the orders of the Ministry of Health. Subsequently, the Ministry of Health recommended that the deceased be buried by a professional team from the Uganda Red Cross Society to avoid any kind of exposure to family and the community. 

Uganda Red Cross Society Spokesperson Irene Nakasiita says that this was mainly because the process of moving a dead body that came through a high-risk country and Transit centre can easily become a point of infection and transfer of the Coronavirus disease. 

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Dr George Epenyu, the Commissioner for Health Services at the MoH says that they learnt that Ssebuliba had died of a respiratory disease, even though not classified as COVID-19, forcing them to intercept the procession and ensure that he is given a dignified burial with utmost safety. 

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The body of the deceased arrived just moments after the President Yoweri Museveni advised against returning bodies of persons who die from abroad, until after the COVID-19 pandemic is wiped out.  A family member to the deceased, Gladys Nakankya says that the casket was air bound, by the time the order was issued.

Kayunga Resident District Commissioner Margret Mwanamoiza Kikomeko says three A-plus funeral services workers and two-family members who got in contact with the deceased are currently quarantined at the district isolation centre, awaiting their results from the Uganda Virus Research Institute.