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Gauteng Health Dept not digging up graves, clarifies Masuku

Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku on Wednesday announced that the province was preparing over 1.5 million gravesites as the surge of coronavirus cases was expected to increase rapidly.

Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku and the provincial executive council on 31 March 2020 rolled out massive community screenings and testing programmes in Alexandra township to screen residents for coronavirus (COVID-19). Picture: Ahmed Kajee/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku said that the province was not digging up graves but preparing gravesites as a standard response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Masuku on Wednesday announced that the province was preparing over 1.5 million gravesites as the surge of cases was expected to increase rapidly.

The latest statistics from the Health Department showed that Gauteng accounted for more than 75,000 of South Africa's 224,000 infections.

Picture: EWN

Masuku said that the coronavirus modelling predicted that there would be more than 1,000 deaths across the province.

"We are not digging graves; we are preparing gravesites which is part of the response plans. Part of the response you should be talking to the storage of corpses – in terms of the capacity at mortuaries, and you have to talk about gravesites in terms of what is available."

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