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Coffin, Hearse Business Booming, Dealers Attribute Trend to COVID-19 Deaths

TUKO 08/31/2021

  • As of August 30, Kenya's cumulative COVID-19 deaths was at 4,720, with 700 of them occurring in the last three months alone
  • As a result, morgues in the country are overstretched, with 60% of the bodies booked in having succumbed to coronavirus
  • Coffin artisans also said they could barely keep up with the increased demand

Coffin and hearse dealers now say their business is booming thanks to an increased number of deaths occasioned by the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

A coffin making shop. Photo: TUKo.co.ke. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
Morgues in the country are overstretched, with 60% of the bodies booked in having succumbed to coronavirus. Photo: TUKo.co.ke.

For instance, as of Monday, August 30, Kenya's cumulative COVID-19 deaths was at 4,720, with 700 of them occurring in the last three months alone.

A report by Citizen indicated that morgues in the country are overstretched, with 60% of the bodies booked in having succumbed to coronavirus and majorly the Delta variant of the disease.

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Also, coffin artisans said they could barely keep up with the increased demand and have had to multiply their daily production.

Mburu Ndambi, a carpenter at General Cargo Funeral Home located in Kiambu county, said they would make 30 to 40 caskets per day, but they are now forced to make over 100 coffins.

Despite the booming business, Mburu said he was worried about the trend.

"There is an increased demand for coffins, but we are not happy because it means people are dying. When I make one casket, I'm worried because the next one might be mine," said Mburu.

Hearse operators also said it had been a high season for them, especially from May 2021, when there was a spike in the number of deaths largely attributed to the Delta variant.

Consequently, through the Ministry of Health, the government urged Kenyans to keenly adhere to the set COVID-19 protocols to curb its spread.

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Selling of coffins near hospitals

In other news, Trans Nzoia County Government issued a 14-day notice to funeral service providers to close down any of their warehouses located near all hospitals within the county.

The county government banned the selling of coffins and the operation of funeral warehouses near public hospitals, in a move to control the rise of such businesses.

Governor Patrick Khaemba expressed concerns over increasing funeral shops selling coffins and other funeral accessories near hospitals saying it would work against the recovery of patients.

“These shops are increasingly becoming nuisance especially to sick people in hospitals, especially the county referral, have become an eyesore, and it haunts patients seeking treatment at the facilities,” he said.

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