The Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero mentioned yesterday that it was important that guidelines be set for how to handle to bodies of those that die as a result of COVID-19. One option looked at is cremating the bodies, as in the case of Hubert Pipersburgh. Today, our news team visited Coye’s Funeral Home located at 5 miles on the George Price Highway to get an in-depth look at the cremation process. One of the owners, David Coye Jr, noted that they have been in discussion with the Ministry of Health as it relates to handling the bodies of those who passed away from the COVID-19 virus. He explained that they have established a set of procedures when handling the bodies and are discussing other ways to reduce the risk of getting infected. According to him, there is no way for the body fluids and gases to escape the cremation chamber due to the machine design that focuses on eliminating odors and other gases.
Coye’s Funeral Home has been providing funeral services since 1940 but has recently added cremation to its list of services. According to Coye, they have been cremating bodies for over 4 years and have cremated approximately 200 bodies. Here is an explanation of that process.
David Coye Jr, Coye’s Funeral Home: “For cremations the family gets in contact with us and they say that they have a loved one that they wish to cremate and we get in contact with them and we go through the paper work, we mobilize our team and they go to any district to the morgue wherever the person is, we pick them up, the body is then placed in one of our cardboard boxes for cremation, it’s brought here to our facility. This is our cremation machine, we bought it in the US we’ve been operating here for about four or five years I’m not quite sure on the date but since then we have really tried to push in the service cremation that Belizeans are offered. This process here everything is electronic and state of the art. It takes three hours to do a cremation here. This machine here reaches temperature between fifteen hundred to two thousand degrees Fahrenheit. The maximum temperature this machine can go to is three thousand two hundred and fifty degrees Fahrenheit but that temperature isn’t really necessary for cremation.”
David Coye ended by stating that the typical cost for cremating a body is approximately $2,000 plus GST.