The Sunyani city authorities have buried 33 unclaimed bodies to decongest the Sunyani Regional Hospital morgue which was full due to the government’s ban on public gatherings to stem the spread of the Coronavirus disease.
Workers of the Municipal Assembly and health officials were sighted wearing protective gear as they buried the bodies in a mass grave at the Sunyani public cemetery.
The bodies, including three children, had been kept at the mortuary for long periods, some as long as five years.
In an interview with Adom News, the Sunyani East Municipal Chief Executive, Justina Owusu-Banahene, said the Assembly, in collaboration with authorities at the Regional Hospital and the Sunyani Municipal Security Council, organised the mass burial.
Bystanders could not hide their tears, as the solemn ceremony observed Christian, Muslim, and Traditional prayers for the dead.
The Ghanaian culture reveres burial and funeral rites as families, relations, and friends used the occasion to pay their respect to the departed souls.
Most often, bodies of the deceased are dressed, and laid in state for public view, while mourners from all walks of life commiserate with relations.
But, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo directed the suspension of large gatherings, as the nation’s Covid-19 confirmed cases surged.
According to the President’s directive, no funeral ceremony should exceed more than 25 people, a situation which discouraged many families from burying their dead relatives.
Madam Owusu-Banahene indicated the Regional Hospital’s mortuary was choked because families had failed to collect and bury their deceased relations because of the government’s restrictions, hence the need for the mass burial.