VIFM Preparedness for COVID-19
17th March, 2020
The Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine is responsible for managing a range of deaths in Victoria.
While our core business is investigating deaths reported to the Coroner we also have state-wide responsibility to support and coordinate the management and storage of deceased persons who have died as a result of non-Coroner’s deaths including those associated with epidemics and pandemics.
The VIFM, as an independent statutory authority supports the Department of Justice and Community Safety, the Health Department, and Emergency Management Victoria by coordinating the State Fatality Management Plan. This plan is implemented in circumstances when large numbers of fatalities occur.
The VIFM has a team of specialist medical practitioners, nurses, mortuary, scientific and technical staff ready to be deployed as required.
We provide body management services around the world in response to mass fatality events including MH17 and natural disease outbreaks such as Ebola in Africa. We use personal protective equipment to manage bodies in the context of disease outbreaks and in hazardous environments including those related to infectious pandemics.
The VIFM is the agency tasked with managing deceased persons in a major disaster (including pandemics) and we have the plans to activate the additional processes needed to facilitate culturally sensitive body transport and storage and do so in a way that provides safe containment of potentially infected deceased persons to ensure community safety.
Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine