St. Eustatius

St. Eustatius happy with change in SXM Burial Guidelines for Covid-victims

Statia Government is happy with the swift action of authorities in St. Maarten. Photo: BES-Reporter/Martien Vroone.

Oranjestad- The Government of St. Eustatius is happy about the fact that authorities on St. Maarten have decided to change guidelines for the burial of those who have succumbed to Covid-19.

While previously the guidelines indicated that all Covid-19 victims should be cremated, this is no longer the case. Initially the embalming of the deceased was not permitted and the burial -in most cases cremation- needed to take place within a maximum number of hours.

Of course these guidelines did bring about certain challenges for surrounding islands like St. Eustatius and Saba. Because of the guidelines, anyone who succumbed due to Covid on St. Maarten, could not be transported to St. Eustatius for burial.


Government Commissioner Alida Francis said she is greatful for the swift action taken by St. Maarten, once the issue was raised among other by local government. “I am truly appreciative of the swift action on St. Maarten these Covid-19 burial guidelines. I am also very thankful to the Dutch Institute for Public Health and Environment for their advise on the matter”, said Francis in conversation with The BES Reporter.

The common concern of the government Commissioners and Island Council on the matter was addressed during the August 12th extra ordinary meeting of the Island Council. According to Francis, following the Island Council Meeting, Government approached the Public Health Department, with the subsequent change in polices in place until now.

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