Proper Handling of a Covid-19 Dead Body: tapping from the Good Practices and Lessons Learnt from Ebola Outbreaks in Africa.
Objective: The numbers of deaths that have been projected for Africa are expected to be high due to several decades of neglect of the health systems and the current overwhelming of the fragile health systems in most nations in Africa by COVID-19 Pandemic. There is therefore great need to plan and prepare for these mass deaths to help lower the pain that families and by extension the community will experience, if this high death rate eventually occurred in the continent. Countries like South Africa, Djibouti, Sao Tome and Principe already recording higher cumulative COVID-19 cases and about eleven countries namely Chad, Sudan, Liberia, Niger, Egypt, Mali, Burkina Faso , Algeria, Sierra Leone, Angola and Tanzania are reporting case fatality rate comparable to or higher than the global case fatality rate of 4% for COVID-19. Although, World Health Organization (WHO) has categorically stated that Severe Acute Respiratory Coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2) is not transmitted from the COVID-19 dead bodies to the living. There is need for caution because this is a new virus with so many unknown biologic behaviour. It might be too early to make such statement as few countries recently reported a possible risk of transmission from COVID-19 dead bodies to the living during handling. It is therefore, very imperative that the lessons learnt from the various Ebola outbreaks in Africa especially, the handling of dead bodies of Ebola victims should be applied in overcoming the unforeseen risks during this current COVID-19 Pandemic in Africa, through proper preparation, planning and proper handling so that the dignity of the deceased victims of COVID-19 and their surviving families are respected.