Burial of suspected COVID-19 casualty worries residentsPosted on
ILIGAN CITY — The patient, believed to have died of COVID-19 in a hospital in Iligan City last Sunday afternoon, was buried past on Monday afternoon at city government owned quarry in Barangay Bonbonon, here.
The LGU did not release any information about the burial and the patient’s cause of death yet, but a group of media was able to cover the burial from afar.
This worries Cherryl Tipalan, a resident of the area since the graveyard is just few meters away from her house. Some 20 residents of the barangay tried blocking the road on with mini dump truck and motorcycles to prevent the vehicle transporting the cadaver from passing to the burial site.
“I was at work when my neighbors called me up to go home immediately. We have to prevent the transport of the cadaver to the place. I am scared that my family will be infected with the virus. I have two little children who have fever,” Tipalan said in an interview with the media.
“We are scared of… I think that’s the coronavirus they are saying. They said, once one of us here is infected, it will continue to infect all of us here,” she added. No one even in the Department of Health or the City Health Office cared to talk to them and explain if the virus is contagious or not. Bonbonon is one of the hinterlands in Iligan where most of the medium of information and the source of their news is radio.
The World Health Organization however emphasized coronavirus is not airborne.
Residents saw six unidentified men wearing white hazmat suit are seen seemingly unloading what looks like a cadaver wrapped in what seems a white plastic from a white pick-up vehicle.
A yellow backhoe was seen by reporters from less than a kilometer away filling soil to a hole. A resident who requested anonymity said he saw a backhoe digging about one meter deep and pieces of wooden boards near the hole. More than five police vehicles escorted and guarded the burial.
No one had given details if the burial is in accordance to Islamic tradition or was accorded with an Islamic burial rites.
City Health Officer Dr. Cherlina Cañaveral confirmed that the patient was brought to Adventist Medical Center (AMC) between 9am to 10am on Sunday but was declared dead around 2pm on same day. She did not give other details about the patient and the cause if the death.
Marawi Mayor Majul Gandamra said the patient is in his 30s and from Lanao del Sur but another Inquirer source said he is 50 years old. The same source, who is a registered nurse of AMC said the patient’s cause of death is community acquired pneumonia high risk (CAP-HR).
The source said the patient was not yet tested for COVID-19 but was taken swab sample for testing. The result has yet to be determined as of this writing.-Divina M. Suson