The Brussels region has introduced a new rule making it necessary for all dead bodies to be transported as quickly as possible to an official morgue or funeral home, in order to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus.
While the new law concerns the coronavirus (Covid-19) is is not restricted to deaths resulting from the virus.
“The social distancing measures taken to limit the propagation of the virus in the population apply equally to the living and the dead,” explained Bernard Clerfayt, minister in the regional government for local authorities.
The bodies of those who have died after being infected are able to carry the virus for up to three days, he said.
“The bodies of the deceased, whether they died of Covid-19 or not, must be immediately transported to a funeral home or a morgue as soon as a doctor has made a declaration that the cause of death is not a danger to public health,” the order says.
Notably, the rule also applies to those who have died without necessarily being diagnosed as suffering from Covid-19. Patients who have not been tested, Clerfayt said, might still be carriers of the virus.
The measure, the minister said, was introduced in response to the shortage of medical personnel, and will last for 60 days unless renewed.
“By centralising a single location for the treatment of the body, we can allow over-worked doctors the possibility of making a secondary report of cause of death at a single location, but also limit the propagation of the virus and its potential to infect the household of the deceased or their extended circle of friends and family.”