A further 434 COVID-19-related deaths have been reported in South Africa, officially pushing the country past the 30 000 mark. To date, there have been 30 011 cumulative COVID-19-related deaths in the country.

According to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, the 434 new deaths came from the Eastern Cape (133), Free State (2), Gauteng (36), Kwa-Zulu Natal (71), Limpopo (7), North West (25), Northern Cape (3) and Western Cape (157).

Funeral parlours across the country are struggling to keep up with the scale of deaths. Speaking to SABC News, National Funeral Practitioners Association of SA President Muzi Hlengwa explains that there are not enough coffins to go around.

“It is very different. It is something that you have never seen before. As I speak to you now, I am busy trying to ensure that coffin suppliers re-open earlier than they are supposed to. We have run out of coffins, we have run out of space at the mortuary,” he said.

“We are even requesting that those who can afford or are able to must try and get extra mortuary facilities, even if it is containers, temporary containers so that we have additional space. We run out of space, some funerals have to be postponed because we don’t have space.”

Hlengwa appealed to the South African public to be extra cautious and play their part in curbing the spread of coronavirus.

“We appeal to people to take extra caution on this virus which is killing a number of our people. As I speak to you now, tomorrow we have a funeral of an undertaker who died of COVID-19. Two died yesterday, it is scenes we have never seen before. This morning we had the news that one of the employees of an undertaker well known in KZN has passed on.”

Cumulatively, South Africa has reported a total of  1 113 349 COVID-19 cases with 12 601 new cases since the last report, representing a 33,7% positivity rate.

Our recoveries now stand at 911 573 at a recovery rate of 81,9%.

Picture: Unsplash

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