Zimbabweans speak on covid burials regulations

Very few Zimbabweans are ready to forgo their traditional ways of holding funeral processions, including burials.

However, they have no choice when it comes to COVID-19 deaths, as any attempt to disregard World Health Organisation (W.H.O) guidelines would be deadly for the entire nation.

The guidelines are clear that a body of a COVID-19 patient is handled by health professionals, with body viewing not allowed, while a massive fumigation exercise is conducted. 

This means that relatives and colleagues will have to forgo their traditional ways of holding funeral processions, but how many are prepared for that?

“This is against our cultural beliefs and norms. I can’t be buried if my relatives are not there. Who will take care of my body?” asked one Harare resident.

“The tradition of burying people depends on the culture of certain people and the restrictions totally prohibit people to exercise their culture,” another commented.

“It is not practical considering that if a person stays away from their relative who will identify the boy especially with travel restrictions that were effected thing would be difficult.”

However, Zimbabweans understand that during times like these, public health comes before anything else.

“Yes, we have our cultures, but we need to understand that what authorities have done is in the interest of all of us,” another commented.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care recently clarified that among other guidelines, bodies of COVID-19 patients will not be taken home, and in case of relatives wanting to transport the body for burial outside the place of death, the body should be hermetically sealed in a triple coffin before collection from the funeral parlour or hospital mortuary.

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