Autopsies in cases where death was caused by the new coronavirus should be avoided, the Hellenic Society of Forensic Medicine (HSFM) recommended on Thursday following the first death recorded in Greece of the pandemic.
In cases of confirmed infection, HSFM said, the death certificate should be issued without an autopsy, while cases of suspected infection should be tested after death.
it also said that all necessary autopsies should take place in the closed-circuit ventilation rooms and staff be wearing protective gear.
"In Greece, even large morgues like that of Athens do not provide the right conditions," the Society said.
Its president, Grigoris Leon, said that very few autopsies have been carried out on coronavirus-related deaths, and mostly in China.
"Such tests confirmed that the main damage was observed in the lungs, while damage to other organs – heart, kidneys or the spleen – were observed in people who had accompanying ailments," Leon said.
"Further research is needed before ascertaining whether damage to the rest of the organs was caused by the virus or by other existing conditions."