The Department of Health has released environmental health guidelines for the management of human remains amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The guidelines detail how families and mortuaries should handle the bodies of deceased COVID-19 patients and how they should be disposed.

Experts predict there will be as many as 40 000 COVID-19 related deaths in South Africa by the end of November 2020 and over 3 million infections by the end of the year.

To date, South Africa has 19 137 COVID-19  infections, 8 950 recoveries and 369 deaths.

A two-day old baby died this week in South Africa – the country’s first  neonatal fatality.

Burial services of COVID-19 patients are expected to follow specific regulations.

The regulations consider social distancing and hygiene measures aimed at limiting the risk of further contamination.

Funerals are not to exceed 2 hours and only close family members are allowed to attend.

South Africa went into lockdown in March 2020.

Different provinces in  South Africa this week outlined plans to relax lockdown regulations in anticipation to move from lockdown level 4 to lockdown level 3.

Global COVID-19 infections have surpassed 5 million and more than 300 000 have died from the virus.

The infographics below outline:

1. How families should handle bodies of deceased COVID-19 patients

2. How mortuaries should handle bodies of deceased COVID-19 patients

3. How to dispose of bodies of deceased COVID-19 patients