The Ghana Police Hospital has indicated that it will in two weeks’ time organise a mass burial of unidentified and unclaimed bodies at its mortuary.
It says the move is to decongest the hospital’s mortuary.
It said although it is generally not releasing bodies to families for public burials, due to the existing ban on public gatherings including funerals, it will exempt families who sign an undertaking to comply with the stated protocols of carrying out private funerals with 25 or fewer people in attendance.
“The Ghana Police Hospital will embark on a mass burial of some unclaimed and unidentified bodies to decongest the hospital mortuary in fourteen (14) days from the dissemination of this information.”
“Generally, bodies are not being released for public burials and funerals due to the ban on public gatherings. Nonetheless, families concerned who sign an undertaking to comply with the existing protocol and adhere to do a private burial are permitted to come for their bodies for private burial,” the statement added.
It said for those who wish to carry out private burials, they are to receive the bodies in a casket and the burial organized immediately.
The ban on public gatherings including funerals has led to many people deferring burial dates of their loved ones although there is an exemption granted to those who wish to hold private buries with 25 or fewer people in attendance.
Some families say they would rather wait until the COVID-19-induced ban is lifted for them to organize public funeral services and burial with hundreds of people in attendance.
The result of this is congestion in many mortuaries in public hospitals.
Mortuaries such as the one at Korle Bu and Pantang have lamented over their inability to keep receiving dead bodies due to the failure of families to claim the bodies of their deceased for private burials.
120 unidentified bodies to be buried en mass
In March, the police said it was going to bury 120 bodies en mass due to the failure of some families to come and collect them.
It said the exercise was “routine” and aimed at decongesting its mortuary.
“These unidentified and unclaimed bodies are made up of mostly paupers, unknown former patients, abandoned bodies, and unidentified accident and crime victims,” the police said.