'No-one will die because you weren't part of a funeral': Limpopo health MEC urges 'virtual support'
Limpopo health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba has urged mourners to reconsider attending funerals amid the Covid-19 pandemic and instead offer “virtual support” to grieving families.
She said some families choose not to disclose that their loved ones died from illnesses related to Covid-19 and are close contacts of the deceased, which could contribute to a spike in infections.
“Families are not disclosing that their loved ones died of complications associated with Covid-19. They are serving you tea while they know they are close contacts of the deceased.
“Send them condolences messages. Buy them flowers or even e-wallet them. They will appreciate this. Let’s all stay safe,” she tweeted on Sunday.
She also shared a poster stating catering and weekly visits to the grieving during the pandemic are “not necessary”.
“No-one will die because you were not part of a funeral.”
Families are not disclosing that their loved once died of COVID 19 complications. They are busy serving you tea while they know their close contacts of the deceased. Send them condolences messages. Buy them flowers or even e wallet them. They will appreciate Let’s all stay safe. pic.twitter.com/wY9RnHz7R8— Dr Phophi Ramathuba (@PhophiRamathuba) January 10, 2021
On Friday, the MEC declared funerals in the province to be superspreader events after Limpopo registered its highest daily rate of infections.
Covid-19 cases in the province jumped from around 20 new cases a day, at one point in December, to over 1,500 last week.
Ramathuba expressed concern that people attended funerals in large numbers despite the risk of contracting the coronavirus.
Under level 3 lockdown, only 50 people may attend funerals and must observe social distancing of 1.5m. Proceedings are not allowed to take more than two hours. Night vigils and “after tears” are prohibited.