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Jamaica: ‘No one wants to bury loved ones like a dog’

Hours after indicating it was softening its stance on an absolute ban on burials, the Holness administration has received flak for reinstituting internments under ultra-restrictive rules.

The new order, aimed at curbing the risk of coronavirus spread, allows only clergy to attend burials. Family will be prohibited from overseeing the last rites.

Lorenzo Godfrey, director of Godfrey’s Funeral Home in May Pen, Clarendon, disagrees with the new protocols.

“What they’re saying it’s like only the pastor, the funeral director, and two witnesses, like it’s a wedding. Everybody wants to put down their loved ones, but nobody wants to put down their loved ones like dog,” Godfrey told The Gleaner on Sunday.

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Desmond McKenzie announced on Sunday that a two-week freeze on funerals, dating back to March 8, would be relaxed to allow for “the disposal of human remains in specially prescribed circumstances”.

The Government was criticised by funeral home operators for imposing the ban without prior consultation and walked back some of those measures in the face of mounting opposition.

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