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South Africa's COVID-19-Related Death Container Mortuaries

Container mortuaries in South Africa.   -  
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Jerome Delay/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

South Africa

The Deceased in Shipping Containers?

One of South Africa's largest funeral and burial services AVBOB which has 250 morgue facilities in the country has installed a total of 22 shipping containers to help its mortuaries cope with the number of COVID-19 related deaths in the country.

This is in light of the second wave of the coronavirus health crisis sees new variants reported by experts to be even more contagious.

Marius de Plessis, the marketing manager at AVBOB funeral services, explains this peculiar approach.

"We refer to this as a container mortuary. So it's obviously a shipping container as you can see, which we buy. And we've got a manufacturing facility in Bloemfontein and they convert these into fully functional mortuaries for us."

High Death Numbers Now On a Decline

South Africa confirms 1.4 million cumulative COVID-19 cases representing about 40% of the continent’s reported caseload. The nation sees just under 50,000 patient losses — with the 7-day rolling average of daily deaths on a decline in recent weeks.

Marius de Plessis, shares more insight into the situation.

"If you compare the number of funerals that we are dealing with currently as compared to the same time last year, for example, there's been a significant increase. Right now, it's quite a bit higher where we were around June last year.”

South Africa intends to vaccinate 67% of its population of 60 million in 2021, starting with the most vulnerable health workers.

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