Roberto García Hernández
, the vice-president of the National Associaton of Funeral Homes Directors ( ANDF ), warns that about 40 crematoriums located in Mexico City and the metropolitan area are overwhelmed with the number of service requests they are receiving amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an interview with EL UNIVERSAL , García Hernández warns that the crematoriums in the country are not ready to fulfill the increase in the demand for its services as a result of the pandemic: “If we wanted to cremate a person, we would have a waiting time between 24 and 36 hours” but added that “there is a saturation in cremation services but it’s not very serious.”
Two days after Mexico was struck by the worst stage of the pandemic, which could end on May 20, García Hernández says that mortuary services haven’t collapsed and that the highest demand is registered in Mexico City, the metropolitan area , and Tijuana, Baja California .
García Hernández explains that there are between 5,000 and 8,000 funeral homes throughout the country.
However, he considers the service could collapse if the country registers a larger number of corpses stored in hospitals or funeral homes and added that “it will have to do with how quickly we can arrange the bodies for their final disposition, in the cemeteries or the crematoriums .”
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The ANDF vice-president explained that the demand for mortuary services for people who died of coronavirus will continue during the next two weeks, especially in Mexico City and the metropolitan area.
García Hernández confirmed no workers at funeral homes have contracted COVID-19 .
In regards to traditions, families have been reticent about implementing 4-hour- wakes , as established by the Health Ministry .
The pandemic also struck bureaucracy and now funeral services managers are facing overcrowding in crematoriums and bureaucracy at registry offices , which is the result of the increase in deaths .
In Mexico City, the registry office located in Doctor Liceaga has received the most requests for death certificates . Outside the government office, hearses line up and paperwork that usually took less than 60 minutes now lasts up to four or five hours.
Since the pandemic started, funeral services increased between 95% and 200%.
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