Families urged not to exhume bodies of those who die from COVID-19

SABC News Death R 1 - Families urged not to exhume bodies of those who die from COVID-19

The Department of Health in the Eastern Cape has warned families who exhume bodies of their loved ones who died due COVID-19, not to unwrap the plastic used to wrap coffins.

Some families are reported to be exhuming the bodies of their loved ones and removing the plastic wrap from the coffin, claiming that their spirits are not resting well due to the wrapping on coffins.

One family who asked to remain anonymous confirmed that they dug their member, saying he has been visiting them through dreams complaining about the heat that is caused by the plastic.

The department says exhuming and unwrapping the coffins is a health hazard during the pandemic.

Provincial Health spokesperson, Sizwe Kupelo says, “Anyone found guilty can be liable for imprisonment of not more than 5 years or a fine. It is only a magistrate that can authorise exhumation, exhumation can only be done under the monitoring of environmental health practitioners and in the presence of an undertaker, people need to put a stop to these reports, it is effectively putting the lives of people at risk it is a health hazard, there was a health reason for those bodies to be wrapped.”

Infection prevention and control for the safe management of a dead body in the context of COVID-19:

More undertakers losing their lives to COVID-19
The National Funeral Practitioners Association of South Africa (NFPASA) says more and more undertakers and burial staff are losing their lives to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The association says the industry also faces challenges of high demand for coffins and an increase in policy cancellations.

Funeral undertakers have pinned their hopes on South Africa getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

NFPASA says their affiliates are losing staff to the virus.

Funeral parlours battling to cope with the high number of burials:


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