Health Ministry creates an additional 214 mortuary spaces as COVID-19 deaths continue
The government has created an additional 214 mortuary spaces to accommodate an equal number of bodies as the country continues to record a spike in COVID-19 deaths, the Minister of Health and Social Services, Kalumbi Shangula said Thursday.
Shangula said that the government has obtained refrigerated containers to serve as additional mortuary space, as the number of deaths coupled with the delays in conducting burials by relatives and the demand of mortuary space has increased. The six 40-foot containers have been donated by the Namibian Ports Authority in partnership with Maersk Shipping Lines.
“Moreover, most of the bodies that have been laying in the mortuaries, some for a good ten years have been either buried or cremated” he said, adding that the City of Windhoek has assisted the government to decongest the mortuaries with the disposal of unclaimed bodies.
According to Shangula the lack of mortuaries has been exacerbated by the limited capacity of the private undertakers to conduct burials timely, adding that the shortage of coffins has also been experienced.
Two of the containers were deployed in Windhoek while one each went to Rehoboth, Gobabis, Otjiwarongo and Onanjokwe.
The President, HE Dr Hage Geingob meanwhile said, Namibia has crossed two significant milestones over the past 14-day observance period in battling the pandemic, as cumulative cases have breached the 100,000 barrier, while over 2,000 deaths have been recorded due to COVID-19 and related illnesses.