The government has clarified its ban on movement of dead bodies for burial saying burial outside town or city of death will only be considered if the body is hermetically sealed in a triple coffin before collection from parlour of hospital mortuary.
A hermetic seal is any type of sealing that makes the body airtight (preventing the passage of air, oxygen, or other gases).
In a statement the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) said deceased persons will now be buried in the town or city where the death would have occurred with those seeking to transport bodies outside the city of town of death allowed to do so after hermetically sealing in a triple coffin before collection from parlor or hospital mortuary.
“Burial will now take place where one would have died, meaning relatives will not be able to take their departed loved ones home for interment. Bodies will only be cleared to leave the morgue to go straight to the cemetery,” the ministry said.
“For those who want to transport the body for burial outside the city or town of death, they should ensure that the body is hermetically sealed in a triple coffin before collection of body from funeral parlor or hospital mortuary
“In this regard, the police will only clear body movements for burial straight from a funeral parlor or hospital mortuary to the burial site. No body viewing will be allowed. Bodies will not be taken home,” further reads the statement.
Information Secretary, Nick Mangwana said the ban was necessary to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
“Government respects the cultural and customary preferences expressed by the deceased and or their families in burial matters However, we are in unusual days, where we are fighting for our very lives. To curtail the spread of Covid-19, people are now to buried in towns of their deaths.” Mangwana tweeted.
The Covid-19 death toll has risen to 507 following the death of 24 more people yesterday while 978 others tested positive to the global pandemic.
This takes the cumulative total number of cases to 21 477, 12 582 recoveries and 507 deaths.