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Cape Town – The City of Cape Town reports in the past week it has seen a decline in burials. In a statement late on Tuesday, Zahid Badroodien, mayoral committee member for community services and health, said Maitland had 125 burials, among the busiest cemeteries, while Klip Road had 56 and Welmoed had 77 burials.

An total of 17 percent of all cremations since December have been deaths linked to Covid-19 to date. Around eight percent of the cremations per week at the Maitland crematorium were associated with coronavirus deaths in February. Badroodien said the crematorium still had to restrict its deliveries to its storage and throughput capacity, but now more cars could handle the situatio The general increase in demand for burials and cremations was largely reflected in the rise in burial facilities for destitute individuals, he said.

The rise in poor and destitute burials is probably a result of the dire straits in which so many families find themselves, so much so that a loved one can not be buried. “The city helps destitute families wherever they can,” the council member said. In addition to national legislation requiring funeral service providers to take extra care in terms of personal protective equipment while receiving the deceased or treating a confirmed Covid-19 deceased person, the city’s 2014 Burial or Cremation of Destitute Persons policy is still in place and there are no new protocols that undertakers are expected to comply with. He said that the next of kin may apply for a destitute funeral with a choice of burial or cremation following a natural death at home or in the community, but this was subject to strict requirements such as not having a funeral policy or insurance for the deceased and no greater income than a government grant.

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