The City of Cape Town (COCT) says that cemeteries around the metro has the capacity to handle the increase in COVID-19 related burials but still encourages funeral organisers to consider weekday burials to limit congestion at cemeteries.
According to a statement by the city’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Zahid Badroodien, a total of 638 burials were conducted at city cemeteries in the last seven days. 215 burials took place at Klip Road cemetery in Grassy Park, 130 at the Maitland Cemetery, 103 at Wallacedene and 74 burials at Welmoed cemetery.
Badroodien says these facilities are experiencing the same peak as the previous two waves of COVID-19 infections, but reiterates that the city has sufficient capacity to accommodate burials. “If one considers the number of burials at Klip Road in the past week, that equates to an average of 30 a day, which means a lot of foot traffic in and out of the cemetery, increased risk of close contact and increased pressure on staff to manage the situation,” Badroodien said.
He further mentioned that the city wants to plea with funeral organisers to consider weekday burials to help alleviate the pressure on cemeteries, as well as alternatives to burials where this is not prohibited on religious grounds.
“While we are experiencing an increase in burials and cremations, I stress that the City is coping with the demand and have enough burial space. I am concerned about the number of burials over weekends and ask that consideration be given to week-day burials to limit possible COVID-19 exposure at cemeteries,” Badroodien indicated.
Meanwhile, this past week, the Maitland Crematorium had 84 cremations, and 32 others were transferred to private crematoria while maintenance work on one of the cremators at Maitland was being finalised. The COCT also stated that cemetery visits will likely resume from August 10, dependent on a reduction in the COVID-19 infection rate. Western Cape government also administered one million vaccinations since the rollout programme kicked off a few months ago.
1/2 Update on the coronavirus and vaccines
As at 1pm on 26 July 2021, the Western Cape had 35 060 active COVID-19 infections, with a total number 386 936 COVID-19 cases to date and 337 221 recoveries.
— Premier Alan Winde (@alanwinde) July 26, 2021