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Municipalities should prepare for mass burials says Mkhize

The Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize has issued a new Covid-19 regulation saying that Municipalities should identify sites for mass burials.

“Should the death rate appear to exceed the capacity of available space to keep mortal remains, the Government may intervene to facilitate mass burials.”said Mkhize.

“Municipalities should ensure that a mass burial is done in consideration of human dignity and necessary controls should be put in place to ensure that mortal remains can be identified.”

District and Metropolitan municipalities should identify land that can be used for mass burial should a need arise.

Regulation 589 also says that in the event that a person infected with COVID -19 dies at home, family members must not, at any stage, handle the body. An EMS must be called immediately to confirm death before removal by an undertaker.

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Cremation is highly recommended where a person has passed on due to COVID -19.

Burial services should be as short as possible but may not exceed two hours in order to minimise possible exposure.

Disposal of Mortal Remains in High Risk Situation

8H of the regulation reads as follows:

(a) The mortal remains may not be kept for more than three days at the mortuary .
(b) Government may intervene where mortal remains are not claimed within two days.
(c) Should the death rate appear to exceed the capacity of available space to keep mortal remains, the Government may intervene to facilitate mass burials.
(d) District and Metropolitan municipalities should identify land that can be used for mass burial should a need arise.
(e) Municipalities should ensure that a mass burial is done in consideration of human dignity and necessary controls should be put in place to ensure that mortal remains can be identified.
(f) Machinery (for digging and closing of graves) can be used if deemed fit to prevent further spread of the virus and when hand tools are used during digging and closing the grave. the tools must be sanitised.

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