The World Health Organisation has officially declared the coronavirus a pandemic.
The Irish Association of Funeral Directors (IAFD) has urged their members to bury coronavirus patients without a funeral service as the virus may still be transmitted after death, the Mirror reports.
Recommendations by the IAFD were made to funeral directors to safeguard their health and that of the general public.
Funeral directors were warned to take extra precautions and make funeral arrangements over the phone when dealing with cases of Covid-19.
The infection may still be transmitted when the undertakers come into contact with the bodies of the deceased, according to the Irish Mirror.
“We have issued a guidance policy to our members in the unfortunate event that they may have to arrange a funeral for a victim of coronavirus,” a spokesperson for the IAFD said.
“While this policy may make for uncomfortable reading it wasn’t our intention to alarm the public or be insensitive to the trauma that loved ones may face should a member of their family die from the disease.
“We’ll continue to monitor advice from the government and although the health and safety of our members is paramount, we’d assure the public that should any of our members be required to arrange a funeral, under these unprecedented circumstances, they’ll do so with the utmost respect and professionalism for the deceased and their bereaved family,” the spokesperson concluded.
It’s currently unclear how long the virus may remain in the body post-death.
However, members of the IAFD indicate the issue may arise from the air that is trapped in the lungs when someone passes away.
The virus is able to stay in the lungs and be expelled when a body is moved.