Covid-19: Zimbabwe govt restricts transportation of bodies as deaths takes toll

Members of the Saaberie Chishty Burial Society prepare the corpse of a person who died from COVID-19 at the Avalon Cemetery in Lenasia, Johannesburg Saturday Dec. 26, 2020. Officials say a record number of more than 14,305 new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed and there is not yet a sign of South Africa reaching a peak. (AP Photo/Shiraaz Mohamed).

The Ministry of Health has restricted the movement of dead bodies from cities and towns to rural areas to curb spending COVID 19.

The matter came to light in a memo seen by Pindula from ZRP to the press which said bodies will be buried in cities and or towns where the death occurred to try and contain spreading COVID-19.

The notice does not specify if all dead bodies are to be buried in towns and cities or the restriction is on COVID-19 dead bodies only.

Here is the full statement from ZRP on the issue:


The Zimbabwe Republic Police advises the public that the Ministry of Health and Child Care has informed the police of immediate restrictions imposed on the movement of dead bodies for burial in the country.
According to health officials, a body will now be buried in the town/city where the death would have taken place. This is being done in order to curtail the spread of ihe Covid-19 pandemic.

In this regard, the Police will only clear body movements for burial straight from a funeral parlour/hospital mortuary to the burial site. No body viewing will be allowed. Bodies will not be taken home.

The public is implored to keep a distance as the body is lowered into the grave by either city health or funeral parlour officials. The grave site will be disinfected before burial.

Police Commanders in all provinces have been advised to ensure that the Government’s directive is complied with. The public is accordingly informed of this important message.

P. NYATHI [Assistant Commissioner]
Senior Staff Officer (Press, Public and International Relations) to the Commissioner General of Police POLICE GENERAL HEADQUARTERS

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