The body of a 76-year-old woman who died of COVID-19 on Saturday was finally cremated yesterday, after four temples in Chachoengsao refused to cremate her remains out of concern about possible contagion.
Authorities brought the body from Phuttasothorn Hospital to be cremated at Wat Udommongkol in tambon Thakai, Muang district yesterday. She was the second person to die from COVID-19 in the eastern province.
The temple’s abbot, Phra Khru Wichit Sorakhun Theerathammo, was contacted by the Office of Buddhism in Chachoengsao and the chairman of tambon Thakai’s public health volunteers unit to help organise a funeral for the 76-year-old and cremate her remains.
The COVID-19 victim’s case grabbed public attention after her daughter, Phatchamon Thanarungwit, 51, appealed to the media on Saturday.
Ms Thanarungwit, along with her two sisters and her mother, tested positive for COVID-19 last week and was being treated at Bang Nam Prieo Hospital.
When her mother died, she contacted Apinya Chua-ngern, from Tha Khai tambon administrative organisation to arrange her mother’s funeral. However, Ms Chua-ngern said yesterday four temples in the province refused to take the body.
The Sangha Supreme Council (SSC) last week ordered temples to accept those who died from COVID-19 for a proper cremation.
Sipboworn Kaewngam, a spokesman for the National Office of Buddhism (NOB), said temples that lack the budget for proper cremations can submit a request to their local Buddhism office.