HCA provides clarification on increased activity at the mortuary |17 May 2021
- Andrew Padayachy: “We are not overwhelmed”
Following the circulation of a photo of a human corpse in a morgue, the Health Care Agency (HCA) brought clarity to this issue through a press release last Saturday.
“In recent days, the Seychelles Hospital mortuary has seen an increase of activity due to a significant increase in the number of bodies in the morgue. The main factors contributing to the current situation include, the forensic specialist being off-duty for four weeks due to unforeseen circumstances and a delay in burials due to relatives being in isolation or quarantine for 10 to 14 days.”
“There are currently 23 bodies at the mortuary, of whom five are foreigners. Of these, two will undergo post-mortem examination and three await further communication from agents and/or the department of Foreign Affairs for repatriation.”
The press release further explains that among the Seychellois, eight burials are planned for next week. The HCA notes that four deaths are due to Covid-19 as presented in the Ministry of Health press conference on Thursday May 13, 2021 and eight deaths are still undergoing investigation to determine the exact cause of death. The Ministry of Health condemns the circulation of pictures taken at the mortuary as it is disrespectful to grieving family members.
It concludes by stating that “family members are advised to organise burials of their loved ones within 5 days after the death and burials on Saturdays will now be permitted”.
Seychelles NATION contacted Andrew Padayachy, owner of Padayachy’s Funeral Services, whose crematorium is based at Mont Fleuri, to see how bad the situation really is.
“We can accommodate 36 corpses at any time and we are not overwhelmed with our service. The problem is that the pathologist at the Ministry of Health was not working as he was sick, whereby the ministry was left with only one pathologist to deal with all the work. I think the population would be shocked to learn of this situation. In this pandemic situation, it would be good if the Ministry of Health could make provision for another pathologist. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we started a discussion with the ministry, but we never came to any conclusion. We were supposed to take only corpses occurring from natural death but we still do not know the protocol of having the corpses from Covid-19. We are here to help the country in this situation and we need to have a proper discussion with the health ministry to finalise the protocols. We do have the experience to manage the situation and we are ready to help. We are just asking the ministry to meet us halfway. Instead of creating panic among the population, let us talk about this and facilitate the process. We are here to help!”
Press release from the Ministry of Health/Vidya Gappy