Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte bared on Monday that the city government has assisted the cremation of a total of 2,074 remains of individuals whose deaths were related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In February, the city government built a crematorium at Wireless Cemetery. It offers free crematorium services to the bereaved families whose relatives died from the deadly disease. It also seeks to address the backlog in cremation services due to the rising cases.

Duterte said that since April 2020, the city government of Davao has assisted a total of 2,074 remains referred to the city government. Based on the national government’s standards, hospitals are required to cremate the body of a COVID-19 patient within 12 hours after death.

“Kana ang total nga na-assist nato sa tanan nga crematorium nga available gikan April of 2020 (That is the total of bodies that we assisted for cremation since April of 2020),” Duterte said.

Based on the status of deaths for the morbidity week from September 5 to September 11, the city logged a total of 59 deaths. Of the figure, 55 were unvaccinated while four were vaccinated. Of the four vaccinated deaths, two had Sinovac vaccine while the other two were inoculated with Pfizer. 

Duterte also said that some of those who died had incomplete vaccination, thus, she renewed her call to Dabawenyos to get the required two doses of the two-dose vaccine to achieve maximum protection against the severe symptoms of the disease.

She likewise reminded the public to avoid vaccine preference and get themselves vaccinated when their schedule came and should not wait to get infected before they avail the vaccination rollout of the government. 

Meanwhile, Duterte shared that the mass grave being run by the local government of Davao located at the Tagakpan Public Cemetery in Tugbok District is now ready. 

During her Special Program on the city-run Davao City Disaster Radio, the city mayor said that the mass grave has long been ready to cater to  deaths related to COVID-19 should cases continue to spike.

“Ang mass grave, wala pa tay nalubong didto nga gigamit ang mass grave for COVID-19 but this is ready (we have not buried any COVID-19 related cadavers on the mass grave but this is ready),” Duterte said.

She underscored that the city government has already coordinated with the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) and other hospitals, informing them that it is now accepting deceased COVID-19 positive cases.

“Hospitals are also aware that it is ready,” the local chief said.

The mass burial site is intended to address the situation in case COVID-19 deaths will pile up.CIO