Politics

Coronavirus: Family trapped in house with dead infected body for 36 hours

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The brother of a woman infected with COVID-19 says the family was forced to keep her body in the house for more than 36 hours because funeral services refused to collect her.

It was only when Luca Franzese (from Naples, Italy) made an impassioned plea in a video on Facebook – with his sister Teresa’s body visible in the background – that a local funeral home came to the family’s aid.

As part of the national lockdown, all funerals in Italy have been banned, leaving health authorities struggling over how to deal with those who have died in their homes.

An employee of the Aprea Funeral Home, Pasquale Pernice, confirmed to Al Jazeera the company had entered the home where a number of family members, including the siblings’ elderly parents, were in self-isolation.

‘Surreal’

“It was surreal,” Pernice said.

“We used masks, sterile shoes, hazmat suits, glasses, and gloves.

“Luca and another relative were there, but other family members were all in another room.”

Pernice said staff took woman’s body to a nearby cemetery and buried her with no family members present.

Teresa Franzese was only 47 but suffered from a form of epilepsy.

According to her brother, she developed symptoms of COVID-19 last week and died on Saturday.

‘We are ruined, the Government has abandoned us.’

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