Malawi government has indicated that more dead bodies from South Africa will be coming soon following the partial lift on the restrictions for combating coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
At least 16 dead bodies arrived in the country last week, with government indicating that their deaths were due to non-infectious causes as road traffic accidents, leukemia and assault.
The Ministry of Health and Population Principal Secretary (PS), Dr. Dan Namarika, in a statement issued on Monday evening, said Malawi is likely to experience transfers and movement of more dead bodies from the rainbow nation now that the lockdown has been loosened.
Namarika said the high number of bodies coming into the country at the moment is due to the lockdown that the South Africa implemented as a means of preventing further spread of Covid-19.
“During the lockdown in South Africa, all dead bodies were kept in the morgue/mortuary pending transportation to Malawi for burial. The general public is further informed that health authorities in South African, as per International Health Regulations and Requirements, certify and ensure these deaths are free from non-infectious disease,” reads the statement in part.
Namarika stated that those dying of the novel Covid-19 pandemic are being buried right in South Africa regardless of their country of origin.
However, he advised bereaved family members and the general public to precautionary measures when handling the incoming dead bodies, including observing social distancing during funeral and burial ceremonies.
“The Ministry of Health will continue to work with all other government ministries, especially at border in Mwanza, families of the deceased and the Government of the Republic of South Africa to make sure that the bodies are repatriated safely without the risk of spreading Covid-19 and out of infectious diseases.
“The Ministry of Health is therefore encouraging all Malawians to observe prevention and controle measures of Covid-19 during burial by working closely with health authorities from time to time,” concludes Namarika in the statement.