Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has warned residents that it will ban funeral gatherings at its cemeteries if people continue exceeding the number of mourners permitted under current lockdown regulations, saying burials were becoming coronavirus super spreaders.
The government announced that not more than 30 people must attend funerals but it has been noted that most people were not adhering to the directive.
Bulawayo Deputy Mayor Councillor Mlandu Ncube said that funerals were fast being singled out as hotspots and they would soon be forced to reserve burials for undertakers only. He said:
Health experts have told us that these funerals are now super spreaders therefore our residents should have this in mind and comply with the laid down guidelines in terms of the people who can attend funerals.
However, if the public chooses to continue ignoring these guidelines we will be forced to introduce a policy where we will ban funeral gatherings as a means of saving lives because we cannot continue relaxing while this pandemic takes our close friends and relatives.
Debating at a virtual full council meeting, councillors singled out burials and the continued flocking into the Central Business District (CBD) by residents as some of the avenues that were causing high levels of infections in the city.
Statistics from the Ministry of Health and Child Care revealed that in the past six days up to Friday, out of the 394 deaths recorded in the country, Bulawayo had 74 COVID-19 related deaths.