In devastating statistics that have emerged, around 700 Zimbabweans have died in neighboring South Africa during the ongoing lockdown meant to contain the spread of the novel virus.
According to Mrs. Melody Chaurura, Zimbabwe’s consul general to Johannesburg, the paperwork for 693 bodies had been processed for repatriation for a period between March 30 and May 22 from South Africa.
Mrs. Chaurura said the repatriation procedure had not changed and her office stands guided by proposals from the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
“Under the system, all bodies being repatriated to Zimbabwe for burial will be treated as contagious except in cases where the cause of death is a road accident, murder or other body injuries. All the bodies now require the clearance of the Ministry of Health and Child Care prior to their transportation to Zimbabwe under the usual procedures,” she said.
Mrs. Chaurura said it was significant for Zimbabweans who look to travel home to take note of that they should experience 21 days of obligatory isolating upon appearance.
“We are happy that our host Government has been granting permits to those who request to travel back to Zimbabwe on varying personal emergencies including bereavement,” said Mrs. Chaurura.
Other than the Ministry of Health and Child Care clearance, a birth authentication or national ID records of the perished are required at the Consulate for documentation for those going by road. Normally it costs R15 000 to transport a body from South Africa to Zimbabwe by road.