The claim that the burial of dead bodies of COVID-19 victims could lead to the spread of coronavirus is nonscientific, says Professor Malik Peiris, a world renowned Pathologist and Virologist, currently serving as the Chair Professor of the Department of Virology at the University of Hong Kong. He is also one of the leading scientists who discovered the virus that causes SARS.
Dr Peiris told The Island: “The answer is simple. Viruses can only replicate in living cells unlike certain bacteria like Ebola. Viruses by definition require living cells to replicate. Once a person has died and the cells in his body have died the virus will die. This is the first reason.
“The second reason is the infectious period. The period before the onset of clinical symptoms and the 4-5 days after the onset of clinical symptoms is highly infectious. It is very unlikely that a person will die soon after getting the symptoms. He may die one or two weeks after the symptoms have developed. During this period the chance of infection is very low, and with the development of antibodies it is much lower.
“You are not going to bury the dead bodies right in running water. When you bury the body six feet down wrapped in impermeable wrapping, it is very safe. If there is a residual infectious virus by any remote chance, for it to filter through many feet of soil and get into water and survive it is very remote.
“Therefore, the transmission of Coronavirus from burial is extremely unlikely. I’m very familiar with this business of burial,” he said.
(Source: The Island – By M.A. Kaleel)