Ramaphosa identifies burials as Covid-19 ‘super spreaders’

Picture for illustration. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

Funerals have been identified as super spreaders by President Cyril Ramaphosa, as the number of coronavirus infections soar.

This was highlighted in Ramaphosa’s national address on the progress of efforts to contain the Covid-19 pandemic

“I would like to take a moment to specifically address the issue of funerals, which have consistently been identified as so-called ‘super-spreader’ moments,” said Ramaphosa.

“Now more than ever, we must each make a deliberate decision to avoid any unnecessary contact with other people.”

“Providing a fitting send-off for a departed loved one is deeply ingrained in all of us. There are certain rituals that we perform in line with our respective cultures and traditions; not just at the funeral itself but in the days leading up to the burial.”

“But these are all things we simply cannot do at this time. We are in the grip of a deadly pandemic and all these activities that would normally take place are just increasing our exposure to risk – for ourselves, for the bereaved family and for our own families at home.”

Ramaphosa said there would be a time when we could go to the home of the deceased to pay our respects, and to sympathise properly with our neighbours, friends, and relatives but urged citizens, for now, he has urged the public to stay at home.

According to the amended regulations issued in terms of Section 27 (2) under the Disaster Management Act, 2002, funerals under alert level 3 of the national lockdown may be attended by a maximum of 50 people, with persons observing a distance of at least one-and-a-half metres from each other.

Night vigils are not and after-funeral gatherings, including “after tears”, are not allowed

The Citizen/Siyanda Ndlovu