Funeral parlors in Cebu City in overtime mode as COVID-related deaths rise

Funeral parlors in Cebu City in overtime mode as COVID-related deaths rise

8/5/2021 12:03:00 PM

Funeral parlors in Cebu City in overtime mode as COVID-related deaths rise

Funeral parlors in Cebu City in overtime mode as COVID-related deaths rise, causing some of them to temporarily stop requests for cremation.

|August 05,2021 - 04:29 PMCEBU CITY, Philippines — Aside from hospital workers, employees in funeral parlors in Cebu City are now in overtime mode.This as health officials recorded more COVID-related deaths.Two funeral homes here offering crematory services have temporarily stopped accepting requests as schedules for their respective cremation chambers were already fully booked.

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A manager of a funeral home in downtown Cebu City, who requested not to be identified, said their crematorium had been fully booked until August 12.“We even turned down requests as far as Oslob,” he said.They have already cremated a total of 19 bodies between August 1 to noon of August 5, and that 28 more were still up for cremation, he added.

All bodies to be incinerated were individuals confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19.“We can only cremate up to four bodies per day. That’s the maximum capacity of our machine,” the manager said in Cebuano.He also said they had decided to reject multiple requests since their staff and equipment could no longer accommodate as of this point.

“Yes, in terms of manpower and scheduling, we are already overwhelmed. Our employees start to work as early as 6 a.m. to cremate the bodies, and often end the day by 7 p.m.,” the manager said.Another funeral home with cremation chambers in Cebu City has also stopped accepting appointments for their crematory services until August 29.

Government protocols direct health authorities and companies doing funeral and burial services to immediately cremate corpses infected with COVID-19.But cremation takes a lot of time.The manager of the funeral parlor in downtown Cebu City said their cremation process would each take up to a total of three hours, including a one-hour break to prevent their machines from overheating.

Cremating alone would cost around P40,000 to P50,000, he said.The number of COVID-19 cases all over Cebu have been increasing for several weeks already that led to patients crowding in hospitals, and even private individuals outrightly purchasing oxygen tanks from pharmacies to help their relatives fight the infection.

Based on available data from the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH -7), a total of 100 COVID-related deaths in the entire Cebu were recorded within the first four days of August.Of this number, 50 are from Cebu province, 38 from Cebu City, and 6 each in Lapu-Lapu City and Mandaue City.

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DOH-7, however, said that these mortalities did not necessarily occur within those dates, and they could either be directly or indirectly caused by the infection. Read more: Cebu Daily News »


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