Contact tracing is under way in Frankfort in the Free State after eight mourners tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). They were part of a group of people who attended a funeral service held in the area.
Free State Health MEC Montseng Tsiu says those who have tested positive are in isolation, including a matric learner.
“Amongst the people who tested positive in this house is a mother who is breast feeding and we unfortunately cannot separate the two. Contact tracing continues our people are on the ground for vigorous testing.”
In the video below, the SABC looks at the conduction of funeral services during the nationwide lockdown.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has previously urged South Africans to only attend funerals if they absolutely have to, warning that people attending funerals are at risk of contracting COVID-19 due to cultural behaviours and rituals observed at such events.
He appealed to mourners observe social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.
Mkhize also urged South Africans to refrain from activities like passing a spade to each other to pour the sand, washing hands in one basin, and having a buffet meal where they use the same spoons to dish up as there could be a person at the funeral who has COVID-19.
Concern over cluster infections linked to funeral gatherings
In late June, the Gauteng Health Department expressed concern over clusters of COVID-19 infections linked to funeral gatherings.
Under the nationwide lockdown, funerals are allowed to take place with no more than 50 people in attendance. Strict social distancing and hygiene protocols must also be adhered to.