Body of first coronavirus patient to die in Singapore cremated on Sunday

The 75-year-old woman, who had a history of chronic heart disease and hypertension, died in hospital at 7.52am on March 21.
The 75-year-old woman, who had a history of chronic heart disease and hypertension, died in hospital at 7.52am on March 21.PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

SINGAPORE - The first Singaporean to die from Covid-19 complications was cremated on Sunday evening (March 22) at Mandai Crematorium, according to Chinese media reports.

The 75-year-old woman, who had a history of chronic heart disease and hypertension, died in hospital at 7.52am on Saturday.

She had tested positive for the virus on Feb 23.

Known as Case 90, the woman was linked to the cluster at The Life Church and Missions Singapore.

She is the first of two Covid-19 deaths that Singapore has seen.

The second is a 64-year-old Indonesian national who had arrived in Singapore on March 13.

He was referred to as Case 212 and had pneumonia and had a history of heart disease.

According to Shin Min Daily News, the woman, whom it named as Loy Kock Eng, was cremated after a memorial service at Mandai Crematorium that was attended by about 40 family members and friends.

The coffin was handled by two funeral service workers who were wearing masks and personal protective gear.

 
 
 
 

The National Environment Agency had in February issued a set of guidelines on the handling of the bodies of those infected with Covid-19.

The protocols stipulate that the bodies must be prepared for cremation or burial by healthcare workers in hospitals. They must also be double-bagged before they are placed in airtight coffins.

The agency has also issued guidelines to funeral directories and parlours for additional precautionary measures at funerals and wakes. These include limiting the number of attendees to below 250 and implementing social distancing.

The woman had reported the onset of symptoms on Feb 9 and sought treatment at a general practitioner's clinic thrice before she was admitted to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases on Feb 23.

She was confirmed to have Covid-19 the same day and had been in the intensive care unit since and developed serious complications, a Ministry of Health statement had said earlier.

Before she was admitted to hospital, the woman had kept mostly to her home in Bishan Street 12, the ministry had said.

A church friend told Shin Min that the woman had attended The Life Church and Missions Singapore for about three years, and was a reserved person who was active and practised qigong.

The woman is linked to the second-largest virus cluster in Singapore, with 33 patients and comprising two church sub-clusters. One is The Life Church and Missions Singapore, which had nine other patients, while the other is the Grace Assembly of God church, which had 23 patients.