No storage problem for COVID victims, says LynTuesday, September 07, 2021
BY KASEY WILLIAMS
MANDEVILLE, Manchester – Despite Jamaica having recorded more than 1,600 COVID-19 related deaths since the onset of the pandemic, including more than 350 in August, veteran funeral director Calvin Lyn says there is no issue with storage space for the bodies.
“We, the qualified, trained embalmers, don't have a problem with storage, because I checked with my members,” Lyn, who is the president of the Jamaica Association of Certified Embalmers (JACE) and Funeral Directors, told the Jamaica Observer.
Lyn was reacting to a television news report, aired last week, which claimed that rising COVID-19-related deaths were placing strain on funeral directors.
He said certified embalmers are knowledgeable as to how to deal with COVID-19 victims.
“We are certified embalmers, most of us are trained in America. We have the chemicals and the knowledge and the wherewithal to deal with COVID cases, hepatitis, etc. When it comes to COVID we have information from our associations in America, [which] say in COVID-19 cases, when you refrigerate the body for at least 72 hours that temperature helps to eliminate or minimise the virus,” said Lyn.
“In addition when we embalm those COVID cases the fluid that we use also helps to control the virus,” added Lyn.
He said funeral home operators that are not trained in embalming depend heavily on cold storage.
“When so-called funeral operators talk about storage it is apparent that they don't embalm, so they depend on the cold storage to keep those COVID cases. So, depending on their establishment, they might run out of space depending on the number of COVID cases they have,” argued Lyn, who is proprietor of Lyn's Funeral Home and the Oaklawn Memorial Gardens in Manchester.
“It is roughly a third of what cases we have now are COVID victims, so some relatives would opt for cremation, [and] some would opt for the conventional burial. So even if we are asked to keep the body for a month, no problem, because we have the chemicals to deal with that,” declared Lyn.
On Sunday Jamaica recorded 18 more COVID-19 related deaths to move the total to 1,637. The island also recorded 643 new novel coronavirus cases, pushing the total number of cases since last year to 71,987. The island had 20,967 active cases recorded up to Sunday with 48,921 people who contracted the virus being listed as recovered.
Just under 700 of those who tested positive for COVID-19 were hospitalised up to Sunday, with 175 being regarded as moderately ill, 121 severely ill, and 53 people listed as being in critical condition.