Some funeral undertakers in the North West say they can no longer cope with the high number of funerals they are handling daily. They say the pre-COVID weekly number of three to four, has jumped to over five.
The North West has so far, recorded 863 deaths and more than 54 360 coronavirus infections.
“We used to conduct three to four burials a day, but now things have changed whereby we find ourselves in a very bad situation and difficult situation where we have to bury almost every day four to six numbers are increasing. so that is a challenge that are experiencing as the industry or funeral directors,” says the chairperson of the African Funeral Practitioners Association, Kabelo Maine.
North West Health authorities concerned about an increase in COVID-19 deaths:
Health authorities attribute the spike in deaths to the festive period.
“We are definitely worried about the increasing number of deaths, and what we are seeing now it confirms what we suspected that during the festive season there was this interaction of families that then transferred the virus even to those that were more vulnerable. in the first wave we tried very hard to protect the vulnerable but it’s very clear that there was a laxity that happened in the festive season,” says spokesperson, Tebogo Lekgethwane.
Medical practitioners are advising patients to test for COVID- 19 timeously.
A Mahikeng general practitioner, Dr Tshepo Matseke, says: “One of the challenges that we are having is the fear from our local community our patients to test for COVID. It is important to remember that the sooner you test, the sooner we can treat, but the later you present the more difficult it becomes for us to help patients. I have been telling patients ever since the start of the pandemic I was telling them please forget flu, just treat everything that is coming along as COVID until you are tested negative.”
Health authorities have, once again, emphasised the importance of complying with all COVID-19 health and safety protocols.