- Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku recently confirmed that over 1.5 million grave sites were being prepared in his province
- This comes just hours before it was announced that the province had over taken the Western Cape as the nation's epicentre of the pandemic in SA
- Briefly.co.za explores the facts behind the MEC's controversial comments
Gauteng is facing the immense task of preparing for an expected surge in Covid-19 cases and the signs of the province peaking are already evident.
After visiting a Pretoria cemetery to oversee the level of preparedness of cemeteries to handle an influx in fatalities as infections rise, Masuku had touched on a sensitive subject- death:
“We are preparing over 1.5 million gravesites and it’s an uncomfortable discussion. As a medical practitioner, it becomes… not something of my great topics but it’s the reality we need to do here. We need to be prepared.”
However, this comment has caused widespread conversation on the subject and the provincial government has since released a statement to clear up any confusion on the matter:
"The province does not have over a million already open dug graves, the over a million graves refers to the collective capacity municipalities can take. The GDoH is continuing to improve and increase both the infrastructure and human resource capacity of the health system to deal with the increasing pressure from the Covid-19 pandemic."
So, while the Health Department hasn't physically ensured open graves are awaiting potential victims, it has put plans in place to make sure the province isn't facing a crisis when the time comes. Briefly.co.za reported that Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma had denied the plan to prepare 1.5 million graves.
This had served to create more confusion over the situation with EFF politician Mbuyiseni Ndlozi criticising the minister for attempting to distance herself from the situation.
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