The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Akwa Ibom State Branch, has received series of complaints from morticians in Akwa Ibom State that the mortuaries in the State are filled with corpses brought to the mortuaries before and during the lockdown.

CLO has also received complaints from persons, whose relatives passed on and whose corpses were deposited in the mortuaries before and during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, to the effect that the bills for the continued retention of the corpses in the mortuaries have piled up unbearably.

For the avoidance of doubt, these corpses are those of persons who died of causes other than the COVID-19 pandemic.

CLO is disturbed by these complaints bearing in mind that the recent relaxation of the lockdown regulations by the Akwa Ibom State government placed a further ban on burials in the State till further notice.

Quite apart from the cost of keeping the corpses in the mortuaries for such extensive period, there are the health and environmental hazards associated with keeping corpses for too long, even in the mortuaries, not to mention that the mortuaries in the State have since exceeded their carrying capacities.

Sequel to the foregoing, CLO, respectfully, urges the State Governor, His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, to issue a directive to the effect that burials can hold in the State, with a proviso that the rules of personal hygiene, social distancing and other protocols issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) are maintained at such burials.

Comrade (Barr.) Christopher Ekpo (Secretary) Dated: Tuesday, 12th May, 2020.


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