The City of Cape Town’s Recreation and Parks have noted a 78% reduction in total Covid-19 fatality burials for February, compared to January this year. While the movement of the country to Lockdown Alert Level 1 means that 100 mourners can now attend a funeral, the City urges continued vigilance and adherence to health protocols.

Cemeteries with the highest number of burials were Maitland (87), Klip (51) and Welmoed (47). Operations at Maitland Crematorium have returned to normal, allowing for an average 72-hour return of cremated remains following delivery of the deceased.

According to a statement by the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien, “The number of burials have remained consistent with 300 at City cemeteries this past week and less than 10% of these were Covid fatalities. This is good news, but we cannot celebrate while the risk of infection or transmission remains.

“As restrictions are eased and we are allowed to do more, there is also a greater responsibility to remain cautious and adhere to the protocols,” Badroodien added.

Visiting and cleaning of graves is permitted and families are encouraged to visit the graves of their loved ones on weekdays when cemeteries are generally less busy and there is more space to social distance.

As the country is now in Level 1, the number of people allowed to attend a burial has increased to 100 per burial. Families are advised to continue to opt for weekday burials to ease the demand on Saturdays and to adhere to the rules. Burials are known to have been super spreaders and at a time of grief, flouting the rules can only add to the burden,’ said Councillor Badroodien.

Despite the Lockdown regulations being amended, members of the public are urged to wear a mask in public spaces. Non-compliance of this rule is a criminal offence under national lockdown regulations; punishable by a fine or up to six-month imprisonment, if found guilty.

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