South African funeral home directors have spoken of 'running out of coffins' after they were overwhelmed by a 120 per cent surge in Covid-19 deaths.
The country is facing a highly-infectious mutant strain of coronavirus, which has caused the spike in deaths and cases - 422 people died yesterday whilst more than 15,000 tested positive for the virus.
Funeral undertakers are now hoping the government will find a vaccine and have it rolled out across the country amid high demand for coffins, increasing numbers of their staff dying from the virus and policy cancellations.
South African funeral home directors have spoken of 'running out of coffins' after they were overwhelmed by a 120 per cent surge in Covid-19 deaths. Pictured: Funeral workers in PPE carry a casket during the burial of a Covid-19 patient in Joburn, South Africa todayInsurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Pictured: Funeral workers disinfect their equipment used after a burial of a Covid-19 patient
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Monday he is 'incredibly worried' about the highly-infectious South African coronavirus mutation which top experts fear could scupper Britain's vaccine roll-out.
South African funeral director Thabiso Maumakoe, who runs the Tshipi-Noto funeral home in Delmas, Mpumalanga, said he and his staff - many of whom are parents or elderly - are 'scared'.
'We are aware that this is a different variant and just like everyone else, we are scared as a business and human beings,' he told SABC News.
'We have parents and the elderly, so there is definitely fear within the team.'
The new South African coronavirus mutant, called 501.V2, was announced in Cape Town in December and is believed to be a more extreme variant than Britain's new Covid strain which plunged millions into miserable Christmas lockdowns.
Cases in South Africa have soared from fewer than 3,000 a day at the start of December to more than 15,000 per day, with the mutant accounting for up to 90 percent of those new infections.
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Muzi Hlengwa, the president of the National Funeral Practitioners Association of South Africa said he had never witnessed anything like this during his career.
'It is something you have never seen before. We