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Burials show slight decline as demand remains high<p>‘Although burials still remain high, at 180% of interments before the pandemic, the slight ease in demand reflects the downward trend in the rate of infection. While this is good news, I want to encourage residents to remain cautious and not to let their guards down,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien.</p><p>In the last week, City cemeteries have facilitated 622 burials of which approximately 18% were confirmed COVID-19 burials. Of the 622 burials, 161 occurred at Maitland Cemetery, 121 at Welmoed and 87 at Klip Road Cemetery in Grassy Park. </p><p>There were 231 cremations recorded in the last week at Maitland Crematorium, 45 of which were confirmed COVID-19 deaths. </p><p>This is an increase in cremations from the 198 total recorded at the crematorium the week before, due to the additional cremators coming into operation mid-week last week. </p><p>With the additional capacity available for use from this week, it is anticipated that more cremations will now be able to be processed daily to ease the back log and alleviate pressure on the system. </p><p>It is important to be mindful that while the City has increased capacity at the crematorium, this is still insufficient to meet the normal 72-hour turnaround time on cremations due to the extraordinarily high demand at present. The City has therefore submitted a request to Provincial Government Air Quality Management, to obtain the authority for extended hours of operation for the older cremators in operation, which may result in further increased capacity.</p><p>The general increase in demand for burials and cremations has also been reflected in the increase in burial services for destitute persons. </p><p>The City’s Policy on Burial or Cremation of Destitute Persons of 2014 is still in effect, and there are no new procedures that undertakers are required to adhere to, aside from National Regulations which require service providers in the funeral industry to take extra precautions in terms of Personal Protective Equipment when collecting the deceased or managing a confirmed COVID-19 deceased person.</p><p>Following a natural death at home or in the community (not including hospital deaths); the next of kin of the deceased may apply for a destitute funeral with a choice of burial or cremation, subject to strict criteria including that:</p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">the deceased has no funeral policy, no insurance, no income greater than that of a SASSA pension/grant </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">that the applicant agrees to a weekday funeral and basic funeral services.</div></li></ul><p>For more information on applications for destitute persons, families can contact the nearest subcouncil office or their Ward Councillor; alternatively any queries can be sent to <a href="" target="_blank"></a> </p><p><strong>Residents are reminded to: </strong></p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">Consider weekday burials and alternative burial methods</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Limit funeral and graveside attendance to 50 people</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Strictly adhere to COVID-19 protocols (social distancing, wearing masks, hand sanitising)</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Stay home if they feel unwell or have been exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual</div></li></ul><p> ‘Burials on a Saturday are reaching capacity and I want to encourage families to consider alternative days as this will ease congestion. We are all at risk and it is the duty of each and every one of us to do what we can to stay safe,’ added Councillor Badroodien.</p><p><br><strong>End</strong><br></p>2021-01-25T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#6199a1b2-2e64-4bd0-abba-c06ea746ee8b;L0|#06199a1b2-2e64-4bd0-abba-c06ea746ee8b|cemetaries;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb10

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