DAVAO CITY – A mass grave site will soon be built in Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte as the town’s public cemetery runs out of space due to mounting deaths from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), an official said Wednesday.
Mart Dumali Sambalud, Sto. Tomas information officer, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA), that they are currently scouting a lot for the site.
“We are eyeing an [local government unit]-owned property here and it will eventually be used as the site,” he said.
The Covid-19 Task Force of Santo Tomas noted a significant rise in the number of deaths in Santo Tomas due to a surge in Covid-19 cases.
As of October 5, Santo Tomas has registered a total of 141 pandemic-related deaths.
Sambalud said the Santa Cruz Public Cemetery located in Barangay San Jose could no longer accommodate burials since the graves had already run-up to the boundary line of the cemetery.
“As per Covid-19 regulations on the management of the dead, those who die that cannot afford cremation, especially those positive for the virus, would have to be buried within 24 hours,” he added.
To date, 55 bodies have been buried at the Santa Cruz Public Cemetery from January to September 2021, making it the town’s “unofficial graveyard” for Covid-19 deaths.
“The surge in pandemic-related deaths has created a scarcity in the Covid-19 section of the cemetery. Right now, the public cemetery in Barangay Balagunan is now being used as another graveyard . But sooner or later, it may quickly run out of space to bury Covid fatalities,” he added. (PNA)