Gauteng Province, which has become the new epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in South Africa, is digging 1 million graves in preparation for the worst of the worst due to Covid-19.
If the city loses many people due to the novel virus strain that was first identified in China in late 2019, the city is planning for mass burials.
A tractor is in action digging graves at the Honingnestkrans Cemetry. Gauteng MEC for Health Dr Bandile Masuku was at the site to inspect its state of readiness.
The digging of graves is an uncomfortable conversation for the majority of people. However, the reality on the ground calls for preparedness, at least according to what the city officials are doing.
“This is to check how will be able to cater in the event that we’ll be having a whole lot of people passing on in a short space of time. All our municipalities have been acquiring more in terms of the land that they’ll need for burial,” said Masuku.
Masuku said that they are preparing the graves although he hopes that they won’t be used. However, he told the SABC in an interview that the peak is coming.
Twitter Reacts to 1 Million Graves in Gauteng
Of course, the Twitter streets saw people give their take on the millions of graves being prepared in Gauteng as the city braces for the worst.
One user said that people will soon have SMS notifications telling giving them their grave numbers.
Soon they'll be sending us sms's notifying us of our grave numbers.😩😩 "Dear Ms Maswiswi we'd like to notify you of your grave number. Rip in advance" 😔 @PresidencyZA@DrZweliMkhize @CyrilRamaphosa Tell us what's going on!! 😏#1millionGraves pic.twitter.com/5ih58jYl07
— Naomii_Light 🏳️🌈🌈 (@TebogoN_Kotsedi) July 9, 2020
Another user felt that the digging of graves is a reality call to many people who have treated the coronavirus as a myth.
“Most of you go outside without wearing masks, you don’t sanitize on a regular basis. Always breaking the lockdown rules. Why are you complaining when they [are] digging graves? Some of you are preaching that Corona is unreal.”
In April, American journalist Adam Housley Tweeted that South Africa had received 1 million body bags due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The claims were not substantiated.
In the same month, Melinda Gates, the co-chairperson of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation spoke to CNN and said Africa will be littered with dead bodies.
“It is going to be horrible in the developing world. Part of the reasons you are seeing the case numbers still do not look very bad is because they don’t have access to many tests. Look at what is happening in Ecuador, they are putting dead bodies on the streets, you are going to see the same in Africa,” she said.
These are tough times for everyone. People should stay safe, practice safe hygiene and social distancing and hope that we can beat this coronavirus.
And we hope that those graves will not be used for their intended purposes.