“The ANC govt knows something that we don’t know, they decided to dig million graves while people are alive instead of building enough hospitals like China did?” That’s the alarming question in a Facebook post from 9 July 2020.
Many more posts have repeated the claim that South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) government is digging 1 million graves in anticipation of a surge in Covid-19 related deaths. The claim has also been reported by news outlets.
But is the government digging a million graves to prepare for a surge in Covid-19 deaths? We checked.
Figure is capacity, not graves being dug
He said: “We are preparing over 1.5 million gravesites and it’s an uncomfortable discussion … but it’s reality that we need to do it and we need to be prepared.”
“The province does not have over a million already open, dug graves; the over a million graves refers to the collective capacity municipalities can take,” it said. The gravesite Musuku visited “has a capacity of about 24,000”.
Government’s response to COVID-19 is informed by the imperative to prevent infections and SAVE lives. We are NOT therefore expecting and preparing for 1 million COVID-19 related deaths in the country.#StaySafe
— Dr Dlamini Zuma (@DlaminiZuma) July 9, 2020
“Government’s response to Covid-19 is informed by the imperative to prevent infections and SAVE lives. We are NOT therefore expecting and preparing for 1 million Covid-19 related deaths in the country,” she said.
The South African government is not digging 1 million graves in anticipation of Covid-19 deaths. Rather, Gauteng province has space for 1.5 million graves. – Naledi Mashishi
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