Open graves are seen in a cemetery after the government announcement to close all cemeteries during the weekend of Mother's Day, as the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Ciudad Juarez
Open graves are seen in a cemetery after the government announcement to close all cemeteries during the weekend of Mother's Day, as the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Ciudad Juarez

Bodies of 10 Malawian who died during SA lockdown sent home

By Thembelihle Mkhonza Time of article published May 11, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - The bodies of 10 Malawian nationals who died in South Africa during the coronavirus lockdown have been sent back to Malawi, online publication Nyasa Times reported.

The Malawian government's immigration department said the bodies were received at the Mwanza border on Saturday night.

Mwanza border public relations officer Inspector Pasqually Zulu said the Malawian nationals died due to various incidents. Five of them died after they were involved in two different road accidents.

"Post-mortem examinations conducted by Malawian health officials at the border indicate that one of the dead people died of pneumonia, while the other one had some health complications," said Zulu.

He added that as a precaution to contain the spread of the coronavirus, health experts from Mwanza District Hospital were called to the border with assistance from the port health department to determine how best to handle the bodies.

The 10 bodies were transported in two vehicles with trailers and the health officials made sure that the vehicles were sprayed with antibacterial chemicals to prevent Covid-19 from possibly being imported into the country, according to Zulu.

Zulu further said that among the deceased, seven were from Mzimba while the other three were from Ntcheu, Nsanje and Nkhata Bay.

All the district hospitals where the bodies were to be received were urged to take precautions as the deceased had been to South Africa, which has recorded over 10 000 cases of Covid-19.

Last month, several Malawians living in South Africa appealed to the government to provide transport to take them home, claiming that most of them were struggling due to the lockdown.

However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had yet to receive an official request from the concerned Malawians.

On Sunday, the Malawi health ministry said that the country had so far recorded just 56 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with no deaths.

African News Agency

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