MASERU – Maseru City Council (MCC) plans to identify, make available and prepare multiple graves for possible mass burials due to a surge in suspected COVID-19 related deaths. Mosala said one of their responsibilities is allocating burial sites for residents of Maseru.
She said since the announcements of COVID-19 related deaths, there is a changing trend in statistics of deaths as the numbers are increasing abnormally. “We cannot really say there are only six deaths due to this pandemic. Even though we are not experts, in normal cases, it was very rare to see people being buried during week days.” She added they were used to seeing funerals only during week days.
“But since the outbreak of COVID-19 and having known that people can die at any time due to Corona Virus related diseases, we are having a new trend of many people being buried during week days.” Although they cannot be sure that most deaths are COVID-19 related, most of the explanations from families of the deaths are telling. Common explanations by the bereft are like: “My mother was from South Africa and she had flu signs and died shortly afterwards.”
“We are not sure if such cases are recorded, but we are saying we have that pattern of burials during week days. And the manner in which they cover their caskets it is very suspicious as it is similar to those of COVID-19 victims,” Mosala added. “Our duty is to allocate and plan burial sites, therefore it becomes very hard on our side to do that on a daily basis hence sooner we have decided to dig more graves for mass burials for there are plenty of processes to be followed before burials. We need standby graves.” Even though this may not sit well with most Basotho, she said, as an individual she understands why South Africa had to prepare sites for mass graves.
“We have therefore decided to take that route in our meeting today(yesterday),” she said. Mosala insisted the city is ready “the only thing that we are left with is how we are going to do it because now we have to use our own resources and it is costly unlike before when people (bereaved families) had to dig their own graves.” She, however, dismissed rumours doing the rounds that MCC had already prepare mass graves in places like Sehlabeng outside Maseru.