With the number of COVID-19 related deaths closing in on 8,000 in the province, health authorities are assuring citizens that they’ve got the capacity to handle the influx of bodies caused by the second wave of the pandemic in the Western Cape.
Record numbers of deaths are being recorded every day around the country and Capetonians are now being encouraged to use alternative burial sites, with cemeteries such as the Klip Road Cemetery in Grassy Park and Johnston Road Muslim Cemetery in Belgravia, have already reached capacity.
However, the provincial health authorities are ensuring citizens that they have the capacity to manage the influx of bodies in the Cape.
“Not all of the burials are COVID-related and the increase could in part be attributed to the recent long-weekends, as some burials would have been postponed,” The City’s mayoral committee member for community services and health, Zahid Badroodien told IOL.
“However, there has been an increase in deaths attributed to the virus and the sad reality is our cemeteries will be busier in the weeks ahead.”
Western Cape Head of Health Dr Keith Cloete also has faith in the province’s capacity to
“We do not believe that it will be overwhelmed,” he said. “The facility at Tygerberg has the capacity to deal with 240 bodies, but we have the ability to add more capacity if needed.”
However, Clan Funeral Services director Clinton Gordon says that the funeral industry is managing the influx, but it’s been very difficult to stay above water.
“We are barely coping,” he said. “Some mortuaries have been running out of storage space, but among ourselves in the industry we have done what we can to help each other out with storage”.
“There have also been problems with coffin manufacturers. It’s not that there are not enough coffins, it is just that they all come from Johannesburg and with all the demand, it has not been as smooth as process as normal.”