by Victoria Wolf and Arlana Shikongo

FOUNDING president Sam Nujoma’s sister Sofia Asino died of Covid-19 last week Friday.

Sofia Asino. Photo: NBC

Asino died in Windhoek, where she had come to receive treatment for her knee.

Health minister Kalumbi Shajngula, who confirmed her death, said Asino’s body has been cremated and can therefore be transported for burial without posing a public health risk.

“The body of Ms Asino was cremated within 48 hours. It is no longer a risk for Covid-19 infection and can safely be transported to a burial site which the family chooses,” he told The Namibian on Monday.

The minister added: “This is the third body [of a Covid-19 case] to be cremated.”

Shangula confirmed that the body of a person who dies of Covid-19 can only be transported for burial if cremated.

In the event that the family of the deceased chooses not to cremate the body, a burial must take place within 72 hours of the death.

The burial must also take place in the area where the person dies, the minister said.

Asino’s son, Matti Asino, on Monday said the family intends to follow all regulations in the burial of his mother.

He added: “This is a private matter, and it is under unusual circumstances. We would appreciate it if the public can leave us to mourn our mother.”

The Namibian understands that Asino is from Okahao in the Omusati region, which is where the family intends to hold her burial. It is unclear when the family intends to do this.

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