A Water Research Commission report has indicated that the burials of people who have died of Covid-19 does not increase the risk of pollution of the environment and groundwater as the virus is unlikely to survive.
However, according to the report entitled Death and Burial in the Time of Covid-19: Environmental and Health Risks, very little is known regarding Covid-19, and there are no records available for mass burials.
SA Cemeteries Association chairman Pepe Dass said he was not necessarily concerned about the virus contaminating ground water but about the country’s historically high demand for burial space.
He said more than 500 000 people died annually placing a strain on space in cemeteries.
“Covid-19 is not the issue now, it is the persistent demand for grave space and that impacts on the land available. Municipalities throughout the country are having a problem,” he said.