Dead Tell No Tales in Gianyar COVID Testing

The Regent of Gianyar has published a circular memorandum (SE No. 443/3512/DINKES/2020) that seems sure to frustrate provincial efforts to accurately record the number of fatalities linked to COVID-19.

Made Mahayastra, Regent of Gianyar, Bali

As reported by Radar Bali, the subject memorandum revoked the standing requirement to perform a PCR Swab Test on the corpse of deceased individuals suspected to have died from COVID-19. Made Mahayastra signed the Memorandum in his joint capacity as the Regent of Gianyar and chairman of Gianyar’s Task Force for the Mitigation of COVID-19.

The Memorandum was sent on 30 September to the directors of government and private hospitals in Gianyar. The subject instruction stipulates that when a patient dies before a PCR Swab Test has been taken, it is no longer required to perform a post-mortem test. The Memorandum also states that when patients die because of an acute respiratory infection, their remains can be immediately buried or returned to the deceased’s family, who are then obligated to dispose of the body in conformance with health protocols.

Because of the Memorandum, Hospitals in Gianyar receiving patients who have died before arriving at their emergency room will no longer be tested for COVID-19 using a PCR Swab Test.

In the past, hospitals in Gianyar would, as a matter of course, perform Swab Tests to maintain an accurate count on those succumbing to COVID-19 and to track possible cluster infections affecting family members and associates who may have come in contact with the deceased before death.

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