Coronavirus update: Undertakers taking strain amid increased deaths

Undertakers in South Africa are feeling the strain of the second Covid-19 wave. Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates on the pandemic.

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The South African healthcare system is feeling the strain caused by an increase in Covid-19 infections.

However, when a patient dies it is by no means the end of the road, with undertakers taking over the stress at that point.

Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates on the Covid-19 pandemic below:

1. Undertakers feel the strain as fatalities increase

When most think of 'frontline workers', doctors and nurses tend to be the first to come to mind. However, the nation's undertakers are feeling the strain of the situation despite seemingly being overlooked when it comes to state planning.

A recent TimesLIVE report indicated that undertakers in some regions have recorded a 300% increase in workloads amid the pandemic. Tasked with ensuring the remains of a Covid-19 victim are safely handled, many feel overwhelmed.

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Funerals, usually held over the weekends, are now an almost daily event as the nation endures the crisis. Many have reported that their fridges are full, forcing staff to consider alternative storage methods to keep up with demand.

2. Mkhize on latest statistics

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has once again provided South African with an update on the Covid-19 pandemic. In a statement released by the Department of Health on Sunday evening, Mkhize confirmed that:

"As of today the cumulative number of Covid-19 cases identified on South Africa is 1 337 926 with a total of 12 267 new cases identified since the last report."

In addition to the spike in infections, Mkhize noted an increase in recorded fatalities:

"Regrettably, we report a further 254 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported: Eastern Cape 22, Free State 13, Gauteng 59, KwaZulu-Natal 40, Mpumalanga 16, North West 26, Northern Cape 6 and Western Cape 72. This brings the total to 37 105 deaths."
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Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that the nation's top private schools are demanding that pupils test negative for Covid-19 before being allowed to return to the classroom. Hilton College and St Anne's Diocesan College, the nation's most expensive schools, were the first to jump on this bandwagon.

Hilton headmaster George Harris sent out a letter to parents requesting that students test before their return in order to start the year on a 'clean slate'. Harris pointed out that a single positive infection would have a devastating impact on the school. He added that:

"If even a single boy tests positive prior to his arrival, and does not return on account of this, we will have managed a potential outbreak in a dorm which will be especially helpful to all of us.”

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