Government has directed that with immediate effect all bodies being repatriated to Zimbabwe for burial will be treated as contagious except in cases where death is classified as murder, accident or other injuries as a way of curbing Covid-19.
In a letter to South African funeral parlours the Zimbabwean Embassy said the directive was from Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Health and Child Care.
“Please be advised that the Ministry of Health and Child Care of the Republic of Zimbabwe has directed as follows, with immediate effect, as a way of protecting the country against exposure to the deadly Coronavirus,
The statement read “All bodies repatriated to Zimbabwe for burial will be treated as contagious except in cases where the cause of death is road accident, murder or other body injuries. Consequently all such mortal remains will require clearance by the Ministry of Health and Child Care in Zimbabwe using the usual clearance channels.
“Relatives accompanying the remains will be subjected to 21 days mandatory quarantine at the designated points before proceeding to the funeral. (The same applies in cases where the body is transiting through Zimbabwe)”
The statement further said only the driver of the hearse is allowed to proceed with the body to the place of burial and immediately return to South Africa.
“Only the driver of the hearse is allowed to proceed to the final place of burial in Zimbabwe and is required to return back to South Africa immediately after burial. All funeral parlours are therefore required to comply with the directives”
South Africa is home to thousands of Zimbabweans, in the event of death many Zimbabwean are repatriated back home for burial.