COVID-19: Gauteng clarifies grave capacity

Gauteng Health says municipalities in the province have the combined capacity to cater for over a million graves.

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng Department of Health has released a statement clarifying early reports that approximately 1.5-million graves that can be "easily accessed" should the need arise.

On Wednesday, Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku said the province has approximately 1.5-million burial sites that can be easily accessed should the need arise.

READ: COVID-19: Mass gravesites prepared in Gauteng

In a statement released on Thursday, the Department said it wished to clarify the confusion on the number of graves dug for COVID-19.

"The province does not have over a million already open dug graves, the over a million graves refers to the collective capacity municipalities can take.

"The GDoH is continuing to improve and increase both the infrastructure and human resource capacity of the health system to deal with the increasing pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic," the statement read.

READ: Gauteng becomes COVID-19 epicentre

Gauteng has become the new epicentre of the coronavirus.

The province recorded more than 75,000 infections.

City of Johannesburg mayoral spokesperson Mlimandlela Ndamase said the city is confident that they have the capacity to provide space for families who need to bury their deceased loved ones. 

Ndamase stated the city's capacity for burial space is not an indication of the anticipated number of casualties due to COVID-19.

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