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Free State to test all corpses for COVID-19

Staff Reporter

The Free State will now test all corpses for COVID-19 after an elderly man from Bloemfontein was only confirmed to have succumbed to the disease following a post-mortem examination.

The case, according to provincial health spokesperson Mondli Mvambi, had prompted the province to subject all dead bodies to mandatory coronavirus tests before they can be released for burial in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.

“The case of the 77-year-old male whose corpse was swabbed after he had died has prompted the department to swab all corpses in order to ensure that we know for certain if anyone has died of COVID-19 which may not have been seen when the person was alive,” Mvambi said in a statement released this Sunday night.

He added that the post-mortem tests would help health workers to “trace all the contacts of the deceased in order to test them to eliminate uncertainty about the prevalence of COVID-19 amongst unsuspecting people”.

“This is added quality assurance towards our efforts of flattening the curve and curbing further transmissions,” Mvambi said.

The Free State – which has 102 confirmed coronavirus cases – has to date registered five deaths related to the disease, all of them males aged between 55 and 85 years of age.

South Africa’s COVID-19 cases have increased to 3 158, with the death toll now standing at 54.

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