The relatives of the deceased had to come home this Monday with the coffin after waiting in vain for hours at the gates of the city cemetery Bolivian de Cochabamba, closed due to the fear of the cemetery employees to become infected by COVID-19.
“What are we going to do now, do we have to bring the body to our house?“One of the family members scolded, while showing the death papers assuring that he did not die from COVID-19.
The family waited several hours with the coffin and flowers for their deceased at the door of the churchyard, while those who had come to give him their last goodbye said goodbye in the street and later the coffin was removed in a funeral car.
The cemetery workers declared an emergency after the death of one of their colleagues who they suspected was due to COVID-19, so the doors of the Cochabamba General Cemetery were closed, although the causes of his death are under study.
“All workers, whether from the plant or administrative, we are prone to any contagion, in that sense, all the plant personnel have made the strike requesting that a group of doctors come to do a thorough check-up.“the cemetery administrator, Benedicto Gonzales, told the media.
They also asked that all workers be able to access the COVID-19 rapid tests and that raking be carried out to identify if there is a positive case among them, Gonzales explained.
The administrator pointed out that in this situation they declared themselves in a “state of emergency”, but that after accessing the tests and raking they will return to their duties.
Cremations were also paralyzed on this day by the pressure measure, an important task in this context of the pandemic, since those who died from coronavirus must be cremated.
Later, the fumigation of the interior of the cemetery was carried out and the workers indicated that at the end of this activity they would resume their work in Cochabamba, which is one of the main cities in Bolivia with just over 600,000 inhabitants.
Currently in Bolivia there are 1,014 deaths from COVID-19 and 31,524 confirmed cases, according to official data.