Funeral gatherings have become Covid-19 super spreaders in Zimbabwe





HARARE – The funeral services industry has called for strict adherence to World Health Organisation Covid-19 protocols at funerals which have now become potential super spreaders of the pandemic.

There has been a surge in Covid-19 cases and one of the super spreaders that has been identified are funerals where people gather in large numbers, thereby disregarding Covid-19 protocols.

A visit to Warren Hills Cemetery in Harare was as shocking as it was revealing with multitudes of people attending a funeral despite the set limit of 30-people.

It was the same story at Zororo Cemetery in Chitungwiza where mourners were gathered in large numbers.

However, the battle between the norm and reality is quite evident.
“In our culture you can’t afford not to go and mourn with relatives they always say if you can’t attend we won’t come to mourn with you.

“What is causing people to come in large numbers is that you can’t agree on who is going to the cemetery and who is staying behind. Everyone wants to go,” says Mr Joel Gombera of Doves Holdings.

While funeral parlours highlighted that they are observing Covid-19 protocols during burials, they have a word or two for the public.

Gladys Rukweza of Geora Funeral Services said, “Yes, there are cultural values that we observe as black people, but the situation we are in requires us to unite as a people and disregard some cultures which threaten our life during this time.”

“We always make sure we follow the Covid-19 guidelines, but sometimes the public are not keen to follow them. However, we urge people to stay safe.”

Whatever the norm or cultural belief, what remains a fact is that government regulations stipulate that only 30 people are allowed to attend funeral gatherings with strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols. – ZBC