First case of coronavirus tranmission from a dead body confirmed by scientists

Thailand has reporting the first fatal case of COVID-19 being transmitted from a dead patient to a medical examiner, a finding that experts say adds to safety concerns for morgue and funeral home workers amid the global pandemic.

The incident was confirmed by scientists in the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine study.

The death of the forensic team member was only the second case reported among medical personnel in Thailand.

According to the authors of the study, Won Sriwijitalai of Bangkok’s RVT Medical Center and Viroj from China’s Wiwanitkit of Hainan Medical University, ''anyone coming into contact with a Covid-19 positive body, alive or dead, should be using personal protective equipment to prevent exposure''.

''Autopsies and the ensuing investigations pose real risks for coroners to get infected by Covid-19. Given how there is a surge in mass burials of the deceased, medical professionals managing the remains of the patients need to be provided with protective equipment,'' they added.

However, still not much is known about about how long the new coronavirus can survive in dead bodies or whether corpses can be contagious to people who handle them.

On March 25, the head of Thailand’s Department of Medical Services had announced the bodies of coronavirus victims were not contagious amid reports of temples refusing to perform funeral services.

However, some morgue workers worldwide have raised concerns as hastily built facilities have been erected to handle excessive deaths.

Source - WION