Locals exhume bodies of Covid-19 victims – Daily Monitor

The burial teams preparing to bury the body of a covid-19 victim recently
The Budaka District Covid-19 task force has been thrown into panic after reports emerged that some families have started exhuming the remains of their relatives who succumbed to Covid-19 so as to accord them befitting send-offs.
Daily Monitor has learnt that the locals have on numerous occasions complained to their local leaders that the spirits of their deceased relatives harass them at night, demanding decent burial in accordance with their stipulated rituals.
The Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Mr  Tom Chesol, confirmed the reports saying the locals have been  exhuming the bodies especially at night.
Mr Chesol said the relatives claim the deceased  are complaining of the heat from the polythene bags in which  they are buried by the Covid-19 burial team.
He, however, said the authorities will convene a meeting this week to find ways of dealing with the vice.
“We condemn the act and call upon all local council chairpersons to warn the perpetrators that if caught, they will be severely punished,” he said.
 The Budaka township LCI chairperson, Mr Abdul Rashid, said his step son mobilised other relatives to exhume the body of his brother, which was buried last Friday after the deceased reportedly appeared to him.
“The deceased reportedly told him that he died of witchcraft and not Covid-19, so he needed a befitting burial,” he said.
Ms Jenifa Naloongo, the secretary of women’s affairs in Budaka Town Council, said the acts by some locals are undermining the government effort to combat the spread of the disease.
“This comes at the time when the district is still struggling to contain the spread of the disease which has so far killed six people in the area,” she said.
Mr Nasur Masaba, the Budaka Covid-19 surveillance officer, said by June 29, the district had registered 168 cumulative cases with five people in intensive care unit, 56 recoveries and six deaths.
 “The district is overwhelmed by several Covid-19 deaths but the locals seem not bothered,” he said.
Mr Emmanuel Pajje, the district chairperson, urged the district health team to intensify sensitization in communities  and also improve management of Covid-19 cases.
“We need to increase sensitisation especially in the rural communities because people still believe Covid-19 is not real,” he said.
Ms Pauline Ahaisibwe, the acting District Police Commander, said they would  deploy to  arrest suspects behind the vice.
“We have intelligence on the suspects and we are hunting them. I will not reveal the identities because this might jeopardise the investigation,” she said.   

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