MoRA releases ‘socially responsible’ corpse managing guidelines

Azlan Othman

The Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) has provided guidelines on managing non-infected corpses in the wake of the COVID-19.

The ministry said in the Muslim world, when a Muslim passes away, it is a Fardhu Kifayah (communally obligatory) duty for families or members of the community to manage the corpse. It is common practice among Muslims to attend the funeral.

Given the current state of the COVID-19 outbreak and following the Ministry of Health ban on mass gatherings, the following guidelines for attending funerals or similar activities have been provided.

Those who manage/attend funerals should take precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. Ideally, only the immediate family members or those identified as important for family members can attend. The number of people attending such funeral gathering should not exceed 50.

Mourners should also take turns to pay their respect to avoid congestion. Social distancing (one metre) must also be practised. It is advisable for senior citizens, those suffering from chronic diseases and individuals who are immuno-compromised to not attend.

The same goes for pregnant women and children under five. Family members and friends who have fever, cough or flu should not attend the funeral. They should also shorten or limit the time when visiting or attending the burial.

They should also limit the number of people for mortuary and when reciting Tahlil at the cemetery. Avoid shaking hands or hugs for now, limiting it to express condolences verbally.

Condolences may also be conveyed in other ways, including using short message services, social media and so on. Everyone who attends a funeral should take precautions, including personal hygiene, regular hand washing/sanitising and maintain a coughing/sneezing etiquette at all times.