Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa on Thursday lifted the ban on funerals under strict COVID-19 protocols as a measure to decongest state morgues.
Diri had an Executive Order designed to contain the spread of the Coronavirus, prohibiting social activities such as weddings, burials and social gatherings.
Diri, who announced approval on Thursday during a meeting of the Bayelsa Task Force COVID-19, which he chaired, instructed the morgues to get residents to commit to complying with the COVID-19 protocols.
According to the governor, these burials should be carried out without attracting crowds or receptions, adding that those who insist on holding burials in the usual manner must wait until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
“Approval is subject to obtaining guarantees and commitment from families willing to bury relatives to ensure strict compliance with the prevention protocols to COVID-19, avoiding crowds and observing social distance.
"Anyone who insists on having funerals with night and day parties with 'Owoigiri Dances' should wait until the Coronovirus leaves us," said Diri
The Nigeria News Agency (NAN) approved the government's request from state public medical institutions to the government to avoid a crisis situation.
Dr. Alawode Kehinde, a Pathologist Consultant at the Federal Medical Center of Yenagoa, in an interview with NAN, appealed to the Bayelsa government to lift the restriction on burials when the morgue was full.
Kehinde said the hospital had written to Governor Diri to relax the burial restriction to allow people to evacuate corpses.
According to him, if the request is granted, these burials will be carried out in strict compliance with the social distance and other prevention protocols of COVID-19.
He said the morgue could no longer admit new corpses last week, reached full capacity after executive orders to restrict burials to check the spread of Coronavirus in the state.
He also said that when it rains heavily, it would be extremely difficult for burials, given the state's swampy topography.
Kehinde, however, appeased fears of mass burial of corpses at the FMC morgue, adding that the hospital was aware of the current circumstances faced by people as a result of COVID-19.
He said that those who should have evacuated corpses, but who were unable, due to the restraining order, could obtain a concessionary discount on the fee to be paid.