The end of life industry is under immense pressure due to surging COVID-19 deaths which are causing delays all round.
In a recorded six-minute video message, Nyaradzo Group Chief Executive Officer Philip Mataranyika made an emotional plea asking Zimbabweans to observe COVID-19 regulations and be spared of the pain and agony of sickness and death.
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Mataranyika urged his compatriots to continue to wear face masks, practice social distancing, washing hands frequently with soap and clean running water and most importantly get vaccinated. He said:
Our hospitals are full of the sick, our morgues full of the dead. Our colleagues on the frontline in the health sector are doing all they can to save lives and sometimes their efforts are not rewarded resulting in lost lives and this has happened on many occasions too numerous to mention.
Mataranyika said each times deaths occurred, morgues have borne the brunt resulting in delays. He said:
Removal of our dead to the custody of our end of life service providers has been slow. Where ordinarily they took a couple of minutes, delays have been up to hours in some cases in recent times.
The burial of our loved ones has been delayed in some cases by a day or two. In other cases, we have not been given definite burial times all because of the pressure the service providers have been experiencing.
Matarinyaka also said before the onset of the pandemic, which his organisation knew was coming, they made preparations that include but not limited to increasing the fleet size of both hearses and buses. He said:
We doubled the mortuary capacity and hired more people. All this has in some cases fallen short and may continue to do so as many of our countrymen and women succumb to this cruel virus.