Covid-19 deaths overwhelm funeral service providers

By Theophilus Chuma

FUNERAL parlours have stretched their limits as the country experiences an increase in Covid-19 related deaths.

A 56 year old Thomas (not real name) will have to live with the reality of not paying his last respects to his father, whose burial came within 24 hours of his death.

It is a double blow for him and many others, yet a necessity that has been triggered by the pandemic which is now demanding more than just lives by stretching the capacity of service providers.

Funeral parlours testify their capacities have been stretched by more than three times as compared to last year.

“We have witnessed a rise in the number of bodies we handle which has increased by almost three to four times. This obviously has put pressure on our services and you have recently heard our group CEO appealing to clients to bear with us. Of course we had ordered more hearses but the delivery of these vehicles was also affected.”

“The pressure is real and this has really stretched our services. The number of bodies handled over this third wave has been tremendous and it has really put pressure on service provision.”

With over 3600 lives lost in just one month, the body count still continues and the pressure has even extended to mortuaries’ handling capacity.

Startling revelations from bereaved families highlight a trend where some service providers are pushing funerals even late into the night to reduce the pressure that comes with increased demand for vehicles.

Amid all this misery, the country’s hope lies in boosting the immunity of the remaining family members through vaccination.