The pandemic of COVID-19 hit hard at the Piura region. Since the fortnight of March, burials in the San Miguel Arcángel cemetery have increased from four to 14 per day, approximately, the general manager of the Piura Charity, María Guadalupe Arellano Zapata, warned.
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According to the official, in the month of December between 3 or 4 graves were registered per day, of which two to three were due to the new coronavirus. The figure remained in January, February and March, however, in the fortnight of March the number of burials rose between 8 to 10 per day.
“The outlook is bleak. One member of the family dies and the following week another relative comes to be buried and three days later another from the same family. Last Monday, April 26, there were 14 burials, of which seven were for COVID-19, although I would say there could be more. I have seen up to four members of a family die in two weeks. It is heartbreaking to see people crying for their loved ones, but sometimes we are not aware of the emergency we are experiencing “, Arellano pointed out.
Only until April 28 it is estimated that the cemetery received 170 deceased. Given this demand and the possible arrival of a third wave for this month of May, Charity authorities indicated that in 30 days a pavilion with 110 niches will be available and at the same time the construction of another pavilion will start to house 528 deceased. At the moment, María Arellano assured that there are still about 300 niches available.
However, if the emergency due to the pandemic becomes more hostile and deaths increase exponentially, in such a way that the region’s cemeteries cannot be supplied, the common pits in order to carry out burials and so that families can give their deceased a Christian burial.
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According to the general manager of the Charity, the excavation was carried out last year with funds allocated by the Regional Government. It is a 50-hectare land, located 20 minutes from the city of Piura, which was used to make 10 trenches, with a projection of two levels, in order to bury the deceased.
“If there is the need, the urgency, if all the cemeteries in the area are short of supplies, the Charity has this alternative”, the official remarked.
In the Lambayeque region, the increase in deaths from COVID-19 also significantly increased the demand for burials in the city of Chiclayo. Last April, the city’s charity inaugurated the “San Isidro Labrador” barracks in the El Carmen cemetery, which has 462 niches available.
The director of the entity, Ericka Araujo González, told a local media that until April 28 there were 177 deaths that entered the cemetery.
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Like the northern regions, the department of Ica is also suffering the ravages of the pandemic. The president of the Public Charity, José Escate, reported that due to the great demand for deaths, it was necessary to build a seventh row of niches located above the already occupied pavilions of the Saraja cemetery. Escate pointed out that until April more than 230 niches were still available.
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