Century-old KL crematorium will accept Covid-19 victims

Loke Yew crematorium will accept victims; MGC's Jagir Singh explains finer points on hospital procedure

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FILE PHOTO: Traditional fire wood crematorium in Jalan Loke Yew, Kuala Lumpur. A cremation in progress in early 2016 – PHOTO / ASIA SAMACHAR
By Asia Samachar Team | MALAYSIA |

A century-old crematorium in the heart of the Kuala Lumpur city is prepared to accept cremations related to the novel coronavirus that is wrecking havoc globally.

The traditional wood-burner crematorium at Jalan Loke Yew crematorium will accept Covid-19 victims should the need arise.

“At this juncture, we have not conducted any Covid-19 related cremations,” Shamshan Bhoomi Parbandak Society (Selangor & Federal Territory) president Pretam Singh told Asia Samachar.

The society manages the crematorium for Sikhs, Gujrati, Sindhi and other North Indian communities in the Klang Valley. The crematorium, officially gazetted in 1921, began operations around 1890s.

SEE ALSO: Driven by fear

It has released a set of guidelines for Covid-19 related cremations. See below.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Gurdwaras Council (MGC) president Jagir Singh said in Covid-19 deaths, the Malaysian Ministry of Health (MOH) procedures state that the body will be sealed in plastics and then sealed in a coffin.

He said a small number of family will be allowed to the cremation without viewing the body or opening the sealed coffin. A granthi can also be present to do the Ardas (supplication).

“The MOH will allow one family member to view body from afar without touching it before it is sealed with plastic,” he told Asia Samachar in a text message.

 

 

GUIDELINES FOR CREMATION

The Shamshanbhoomi Parbandhak Committee has decided NOT to turn away any request for the use of the Loke Yew Crematorium for Covid 19 or Non Covid 19 cremations.

We would follow the interim guidelines issued by WHO on 24 March 2020 on Infection Prevention and Control for the safe management of a dead body in the context of COVID-19. These Guidelines inter alia provides that people who have died from COVID-19 can be cremated with national and local requirements that may dictate the handling and disposition of the remains. Please get the required movement permit from the police for covid or non covid cremations may also be required. Information obtained from Hospital Sg. Buloh Forensic Dept is as follows:

(a) If anyone passed away with positive of virus, they will inform the family and further recommend to do the cremation at Cheras Crematorium, but they also allow you to bury or do your traditional cremation at your request.

(b) You shall not be allowed to see the dead body; they will wrap the body and place it in the coffin and thereafter seal the coffin.

(c) No one is allowed to open the lid of the coffin.

(d) Their staff will escort the dead body to the crematorium to ensure that their instructions are followed.

(e) We have to inform our caretaker to lay down the woods and at least make 12 ‘chule’. In each ‘chule’ place 1 packet of fire starter with few pieces of camphor.

(f) Once the coffin is laid on the fire wood, he with the helpers can lay the woods by side till the height of the coffin. Then lay by the woods on the coffin, and pour at least 2kg Ghee on the woods.

(g) The Granthis or the Pandit Ji can recite the prayers only from a distance, as no is allowed to go near.

(h) The family members can light the fire to the camphor which is laid on piece of woods and pass to their people who will light up all the ‘chules’ with the help of our caretaker.

(i) Next during the collection of the ashes, the Granthi or Pandit Ji can do their prayers. Ground Guidelines during the Cremation

(j) We are making arrangements for face mask, gloves and gown. We can limit 2 / 3 sets to be used for a cremation as those tasked with placing the body on the funeral pyre, etc, should wear glove, mask and wash hand with soap and water after removal of the gloves once cremation is complete.

(k) Family and/or friends may view the cremation at a distance approved by the authority after it has been prepared for cremation. They are strictly not allowed to touch the casket and are advised to maintain proper personal hygiene, ect, wear mask and wash their hand with soap and water after viewing the body.

(l) Those attending the funeral are advised to keep the number small as only 10 chairs subject to authority approval, are allowed at sitting area and to be placed at least 5 / 6 feet apart.

(m) The entire cremation area will be sanitized after the cremation is complete.

(n) For non covid cases the existing rules would apply except the need for police permit, the need to have small crowd and to maintain distance and proper hygiene to be maintained at all time

  • Pretam Singh Darshan Singh, President (+6 012-284 9402)
  • Janak Raj Sharma, Vice President (+6 017-332 0818)

 

RELATED STORY:

Record RM1.6m raised at KL crematorium fund raising dinner (Asia Samachar, 23 March 2019)

London: 7 Afghan Sikhs die from coronavirus (Asia Samachar, 2 April 2020)

 

ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs / Punjabis in Southeast Asia and beyond. Facebook | WhatsApp +6017-335-1399 | Email: editor@asiasamachar.com | Twitter | Instagram | Obituary announcements, click here |

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