Brand South Africa urges citizens to support the bereaved online and remain safe

By Mduduzi Malinga

It is almost a year since President Ramaphosa declared the coronavirus pandemic a national disaster and announced a set of extraordinary measures to combat this grave public health emergency. South Africans are currently living in unprecedented times as the corona virus pandemic deepens and more regulations are put in place, the impact on our lives can be troubling and confusing.

More and more people have been contracting the virus through large gatherings and funerals, increasing the numbers at an alarming rate.

As this has now affected the normal ways of life, it has also changed the way people express grief over the death of their loves ones in our communities, with many taking the route of virtual funerals to pay condolences, from the safe spaces of their homes. With the restrictions still in place, technology has become the standard and most practical way of offering condolences and support online.

Brand South Africa would like to urge people to adopt this practice to avoid the spread of the virus. Only close and immediate family should attend funerals as these have been identified as super spreaders of the virus.

Paying your respect from a distance and sending messages on social media platforms has become the only solution we can all use to stop the deadly virus from spreading.

“South Africans have to make peace with the fact that attending funerals while there is the Covid-19 pandemic is tantamount to spreading further death, mourning and suffering”. This is according to President Cyril Ramaphosa, addressing the nation recently. He stressed that funerals are among the super spreader events while we are in the grip of the deadly pandemic.

Disaster Management Act: Regulations: Alert level 3 during Coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown:

  • Attendance of a funeral is limited to a maximum of 50 persons, with persons observing a distance of at least one and a half meters from each other
  • If the venue is too small to hold 50 persons observing a distance of at least one and a half meters from each other, then not more than 50 percent of the capacity of the venue may be used.
  • During a funeral, everyone must wear a face mask and adhere to all health protocols and social distancing measures.
  • After-funeral activities, including “after-tears” gatherings, are not allowed.
  • The duration of a funeral is restricted to a maximum of two hours.

Hopefully sometime in the near future, there will be a time when we can pay our last respects and sympathize properly with relatives, friends and neighbors. For now, it is advisable to rather stay home and observe the health protocols required.

Please share with us how you are playing your part in keeping safe during this time @PlayYourPartSA #GETINVOLVED