Zimbabwe bans traditional funerals to battle COVID-19 spike

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe, battling a spike in new COVID-19 cases, has banned families from transporting their dead relatives between cities, as part of new measures stop traditional funeral rites that are believed to be increasing the spread of the disease. The announcement stops the custom where families take the dead to their areas of birth for ceremonies and burial. Police have also banned public viewing of bodies and the tradition of having a corpse stay overnight in the family’s home before burial. Zimbabwe, like many other African countries, initially recorded low numbers of COVID-19 but has recently experienced a spike in cases. There are fears that a new, more infectious variant arrived from South Africa.