Mar 22, 2020 — Those individuals who are involved in ghusl and janazah must abide by the following: 1. This is also available for direct PDF download from:.
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Guidance Document Bismillah hirRahman nirRaheem In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate Abundant Peace, Blessings and Salutations upon the Prophet Muhammad (S) Version 1.0; Last Updated March 22, 2020 Canadian Council of Imams email@example.com www.canadiancouncilofimams.com @CCImams Muslim Medical Association of Canada firstname.lastname@example.org www.muslimmed s.ca @muslimmeds
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2 Table of Contents Introduction 3 Volunteer Criteria 3 Procedures To Ensure Safety and Well – Being 4 Persona l Protective Equipment Requirements 5 Workers Picking up the Deceased 5 Bathing/Taghseel/Ghusl 6 Shrouding/Takfeen/Kaffan 7 Proper PPE Removal 7 Viewing and Janazah 7 Burial 8 Health Authorities 8 Appendix 1: Sequence for Putting on Personal Protective Equipment from the CDC (next page) 8
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3 Introduction In this time of difficulty, anxiety, and fear over the COVID – 19 pandemic, we are issuing a procedural guide to our Muslim workers who will be dealing with the deceased. Every precaution should be taken to ensure your safety and well – being. These procedures were determined keeping the rules of Islamic jurisprudence at the forefront, while considering the harm of the spread of the virus. It is our aim to honour our deceased as per Islamic guidelines while ensuring the safety and good health of the funeral workers and the general community. We highly advise that the following protocols be adhered to for ghusl, janazah, and burial arrangements. All Masaajid are advised to take inventory of their personal protective equipment. Voluntee r Criteria Those individuals who are involved in ghusl and janazah must abide by the following: 1. Has been free of any of the following symptoms within the past 14 days: a. Fever, cough, cold, flu, fatigue, sore throat, runny nose, muscle and joint aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, difficulty breathing, sneezing, or any other upper respiratory symptoms, 2. Does not belong to any of the following groups: a. Child or pers ons with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, liver disease, kidney disease, cancer, hepatitis, transplant recipient, HIV or any other condition that compromises the immune system 3. Is preferably b etween the ages of 18 and 49. 4. Does not use medications that may suppress his/her immune system. 5. Has not traveled outside of Canada in the past 30 days 6. Has not had any close contact of any kind for 14 days (less than 2 metres, same household, or same workplace) with a person with confirmed or possible COVID – 19; 7. Has not had any close contact (less than 2 metres, same household, or same workplace) with anyone with the aforementioned sympt oms (in point 1) or with anyone who has traveled outside of Canada within the last 14 days. 8. Is not a healthcare worker, does not work in a nursing or retirement home, does not work in a healthcare facility, and is not employed in an essential service (such as transit employee or firefighter) that is in direct contact with the public. 9. Does not live with anyone who has a weakened immune system, or who is currently on chemotherapy or taking medications that may weaken their immune system 10. For other volunteers, they may be apparently healthy and not showing any symptoms but may be carrying the virus, therefore, they must take all possible precautions to ensure that they don’t transmit it to others (if God forbid they are carrying the virus).
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4 11. The following proce dures are to be adhered to and the volunteer must be fully informed that these procedures are non – exhaustive and subject to change with little or no notice. Procedures To Ensure Safety and Well – Being Purify your intentions before performing the ghusl and janazah Agree to have temperature checked in advance of, or during, volunteer activity You agree, at a minimum, to stay informed of and adherent to the latest local and regional public health guidelines and recommendations Please be discrete and confident ial with the information of the deceased and their family Wear a new set of freshly laundered clothes each day of volunteering Wash hands and arms up to the elbows with soap and water for at least 20 seconds prior to arriving and at the end of each shift b efore leaving Wear a new set of personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times for each shift and do not reuse them once removed. (Please see below regarding steps for wearing and removing PPE) Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth or face at all times while volunteering. If you must do so, repeat the above handwashing procedure. Abide by Social Distancing recommendations: Please maintain 6 feet (2 metre) distance between all persons at all times Do not shake hands, hug, kiss or engage in any physical co ntact with other persons Arrive at the assigned time and leave immediately afterwards Spend the least amount of time needed, with the least number of people needed, in the largest room possible in order to reduce transmission of the virus. To disinfect any and all surfaces with disinfectants, >60% alcohol or diluted bleach, before, between and after shifts. If, at any point, the volunteer or anyone in his/her household or workplace or any other close contact develops any symptoms that may be c onsistent with COVID – 19 infection as above, he/she will not present for ghusl/janazah and will notify the direct supervisor and contact local Public Health authority for further guidance. The volunteer understands the s/he shall be removed from the list o f active volunteers for at least 14 days after the onset of symptoms and until 48 hours after resolution of all symptoms. If symptoms begin during a shift, immediately remove yourself from the team, and notify your direct supervisor, put on a new mask an d proceed home using private transportation, and remain in isolation. At this point, the volunteer shall agree to contact local Public Health authority for further guidance.
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5 Personal Protective Equipment Requirements This includes gloves, water resist ant gown / plastic apron over water – repellent gown, and N95 masks. Use goggles and/or face shield to protect face and eyes. Please see YouTube video links below and PPE diagram ( Appendix 1 ) . 1. Observe strict personal hygiene and put on appropriate PPE IN THE APPROPRIATE ORDER https://youtu.be/s2z1uM1fXN8 2. Avoid touching the body without PPE. 3. Remove PPE IN THE APPROPRIATE ORDER ( https://youtu.be/crGlUX3_4DA ) after the body is placed into the wooden casket. Wash hands and arms with soap and water for 20 seconds, making sure to clean your nails and the spaces between fingers. Thoroughly dry. 4. Take a shower with soap and water at the ghusl facility if available, or immediately upon returning home prior to interacting with family members. (One should go straight home and not anywhere else prior to showering.) 5. Clothing should be placed in a sealed plastic bag and fresh clothes should be worn after showering. 6. All members involved in body transportation, ghusl, shrouding, and cleaning should place their clothing in the laundry for immediate washing in hot water and detergent on their arrival a t home. 7. Please note, that if the Cause of Death is COVID – 19 or if the cause of death is not due to COVID – 19, but the deceased passed away in a hospital, nursing home or in a retirement home or at home and was possibly in contact with someone who had COVI D – 19, then the virus is still active and alive in the body even though the individual is deceased. 8. If the body condition is very bad or severely infected, then tayammum may be appropriate, again with PPE. 9. If PPE is not available, then wear gloves and sur gical masks and pour water from 6 feet (2 metres) away without touching the body and if this is not possible, then make the intention of doing ghusl and leave the body as is, if the body condition is very bad or severely infected. Workers Picking up the D eceased (The deceased may be in a hospital, LTC facility, or other venue, where arrangements may be available for ghusl and shrouding, please check with your local facilities) 1. Ensure all members of the team are wearing appropriate protective clothing (PPE), as d escribed above, prior to entering the room of the deceased. 2. Transport the deceased in a sealed waterproof body bag as needed. 3. Avoid direct contact with blood or any bodily fluids from the deceased.
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6 4. Wipe down and thoroughly wash all surfaces the body/body bag has been in contact with: stretcher, interior of transportation vehicles, room, wash trolley, tables, exterior of the coffin/casket, trolley, and any other surfaces used. 5. Sanitize the vehicle after the deceased has been transferred to the mosque morgu e. 6. Use disinfectants, sanitizers with >60% alcohol or diluted household bleach (mixing 1 part of 5.25% bleach with 4 parts of water) and allow to air dry. 7. Limit the number of locations to which the body is transported. Bathing/Taghseel/Ghusl 1. Make sure th e body is wrapped in a sealed waterproof bag and if the cause of death is known to be related to the COVID – 19 virus. 2. If the cause of death is not due to COVID – 19, but the deceased passed away in a hospital, nursing home or in a retirement home or at home a nd was possibly in contact with someone who had COVID – 19, then consultation is recommended with an Infectious Diseases specialist or other person trained in Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Protocol. If this cannot be sought in a timely fashion, the n default to presumed COVID – 19 protocol. 3. Assemble a team with the most trained volunteers with 2 – 4 members only and ensure all are dressed in PPE as per protocol. Each individual should maintain 6 feet distance from one another. It is advised for the te am to discuss the steps prior to starting in order to minimize exposure, and review and be proficient with the PPE protocol in the instructional videos and appendix 1 in advance. 4. Remove all medical apparatus such as the tubes, drains, and catheters and dis pose immediately. The team who will be washing the body usually has the proper equipment and tools to remove such apparatus, tools should be sanitized afterwards. 5. Ensure any wounds are covered with waterproof bandages. 6. Test water pressure prior to starting. Please ensure that pressure is limited to what is necessary for the ghusl in order to prevent unnecessary splashing and expulsion of respiratory infectious materials from the body. 7. Extra caution must be taken while handling the mouth, eyes and no se and their respective passages; as well as the genitourinary system (private areas). These should be gently washed to avoid unnecessary expulsion of infectious material. 8. Upon completion of the ghusl, dry body and dry the table underneath while rolling t he body, from one side to another. 9. The same ghusl team should perform shrouding to minimize exposure. This should ideally be done at the same location without having to transfer the body to another table or another room. In this case, there is no need to change PPE. However, if there are any new team members, they must wear appropriate PPE, or if rooms are being switched, then PPE must also be switched with previous PPE being discarded in the first room.
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8 Burial 1. Funerals should be graveside only. 2. At the graveyard, the carriers of the casket should be given disposal gloves to lift the casket from the vehicle and take it to the grave site. 3. Burial should take place as normal. 4. All those who carried the casket or touched the casket, should be given hand sanitizer to clean their hands and wash their hands with soap and water once th ey get home. 5. Mourners may bring hand sanitizer / wipes / tissues. Health Authorities In the event that the Health Authorities issue strict protocols on handling the deceased which may impact the washing of the body, and/or janazah being conducted by the community, we advise consulting with the local scholars for the legal opinions of what can be done. One such example could be that you may be asked to do the ghusl at the hospital, after washing, you may be asked to self – quarantine, or you be denied to w ash the body altogether due to health and safety reasons. If the janazah salah is not possible, then the Salatul Ghayb may be considered under such exceptional circumstances. Appendix 1: Sequence for Putting on Personal Protective Equipment from the CDC (n ext page) This is also available for direct PDF download from: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/pdfs/PPE – Sequence – 508.pdf
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