Families warned not to exhume Covid-19 corpses despite deceased appearing in dreams. Removing plastic body bags could pose health threats as coronavirus survives on surfaces surrounding an infected person.
Because of traditional and religious beliefs, some Eastern Cape families are defying Covid-19 regulations by exhuming the corpses of people who died after contracting the coronavirus, saying the plastic used to encase the corpses suffocates their dead relatives.
The Faleni family in Nkwenkwana village in Ngcobo said they had not slept peacefully since burying a loved one who had succumbed to the virus.
They recently hired 10 men to exhume the body to remove the plastic cover.
One family who asked to remain anonymous confirmed that they dug their member, saying he has been visiting them through dreams complaining about the heat that is caused by the plastic.
The department says exhuming and unwrapping the coffins is a health hazard during the pandemic.
Provincial Health spokesperson, Sizwe Kupelo says, “Anyone found guilty can be liable for imprisonment of not more than 5 years or a fine. It is only a magistrate that can authorise exhumation, exhumation can only be done under the monitoring of environmental health practitioners and in the presence of an undertaker, people need to put a stop to these reports, it is effectively putting the lives of people at risk it is a health hazard, there was a health reason for those bodies to be wrapped.”