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Undertakers in full body personal protective equipment (PPE) lower the coffin of a person who passed away due to Covid-19 in to a grave at Glen Forest cemetery in Harare. (AFP)
Undertakers in full body personal protective equipment (PPE) lower the coffin of a person who passed away due to Covid-19 in to a grave at Glen Forest cemetery in Harare. (AFP)

In Covid times, wealthy Zimbabweans order Mercedes Pilato to ferry corpses

  • Luxury hearses become ambulances for the wealthy as Zimbabwe struggles to bid farewell to its dead.

Much of the country may have been struggling over the past several months to tackle the rising death toll due to Covid-19 and while the pandemic may not differentiate between the rich and poor, the send off can be as grand as money can afford in Zimbabwe with the affluent class reportedly placing orders for luxury hearses to ferry corpses.

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Zimbabwe has seen doctors protesting at the condition in which they have had to treat patients in recent times while those involved in funeral services have been completely overwhelmed at the mounting death toll. Bloomberg recently reported on Doves Holdings, the country's largest funeral services company, having to recall employees from their Christmas breaks in order to meet with the increased work load. And when even this has not been enough, those belonging to the wealthy class have started placing orders for luxury hearses. Some of them say it is the least they could do for their dead relatives.

Funerals aren't how they used to be either which makes these luxury vehicles carrying the dead more special than ever before. Burials have to be conducted within 24 hours of the patient being declared dead and the regular customs are a thing of the past owing to restrictions in place. As such, a luxury vehicle like a Mercedes Pilato, for instance, is seen as the best way to bid farewell to a loved one. Of course, this is only for those who can afford one.

With a lack of ambulance services, even in the big capital city of Harare, the masses struggle to find transportation services that could ferry their dead relatives from dedicated Covid zones to dedicated burial sits

  • First Published Date : 25 Jan 2021, 02:19 PM IST