Covid-19 update: Funeral parlours convert containers as demand spikes

Covid-19 update: Funeral parlours convert containers as demand spikes

The funeral industry has seen a surge in the need for burials amid the pandemic with funerals drastically increasing. Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates on the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa as the crisis continues.

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The second wave has brought along with it an increase in South Africans losing their lives due to the virus and funeral parlours are feeling the strain.

While the nation entered into Level 3 lockdown on Tuesday, funeral homes are attempting to keep up with the high demand for burials.

Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates on the pandemic in SA below:

Mainstream

Funeral parlours say that the demand for burials has drastically increased, prompting the need for more storage. Image: Papi Morake/Gallo Images
Source: Getty Images

1. Funeral homes forced to convert shipping containers into storage

A recent report noted that top funeral homes in the Eastern Cape are running out of coffins as funerals are being held on a daily basis instead of weekly.

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News24 reports that the demand for larger coffins has also spiked as overweight citizens succumb to Covid-19 with the owner of a funeral parlour confirming that he has been ordering oversized coffins twice a week instead of twice a year.

The owner commented that, in comparison to last December, his parlour had used 140% more coffins this year during the same period of time.

In a bid to increase capacity, the owner had resorted to converting shipping containers into storage, something that has been needed in 19 branches across the country.

2. Mkhize on latest statistics

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has once again updated South Africans on the latest Covid-19 statistics.

In a statement issued by the Department of Health on Tuesday evening, Mkhize commented that:

"As of today the cumulative total of COVID-19 cases identified is 1 021 451 with 9580 cases identified since the last report."
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In addition to the spike in infections, the Minister confirmed nearly 500 new fatalities:

"Regrettably, today we report 497 more COVID-19 related deaths: Eastern Cape 137, Free State 3, Gauteng 68, Kwa-Zulu Natal 114, Limpopo 13, Mpumalanga 2, Northern Cape 2 and Western Cape 158. This brings the total to 27 568 deaths."

Meanwhile, Briefly.co.za reported that the alcohol industry has expressed its immense concerns after President Cyril Ramaphosa's speech.

The sector says that while it understands the need to save lives but that the ban should be reviewed regularly.

The South Africa Liquor Brand Association spokesperson Sibani Mngadi commented that it's been proven during earlier hard levels that illegal traders and syndicates had taken advantage of the ban.

The association had hoped that the government would have simply given SA 'limited opportunity for people to purchase liquor legally'.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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