Mass grave for COVID-19-related deaths readied in Davao City

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 19 May) – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said the local government has prepared a “mass grave” for the cadavers of patients who would die of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).




Davao City’s busy streets as it shifts to general community quarantine. MindaNews photo by GG Bueno

In a live interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR) 87.5 on Monday, she said the mass grave located at the Tagakpan Public Cemetery in Tugbok District, Davao City would be used once the number of bodies of COVID-19 patients would increase to the extent that city government-commissioned crematoriums can no longer accommodate more cadavers.

As of Monday, she said there have been 88 cadavers cremated while seven more are pending.

She asked Dabawenyos to stay indoors to avoid contracting the highly contagious disease even though the city had already shifted from enhanced community quarantine to a 15-day general community quarantine effective 12:01 a.m. of May 15 until 11:59 p.m. of May 30, 2020.

Duterte expressed her frustration over the behavior of several residents who broke quarantine protocols last Monday by leaving their houses not for the purpose of buying essentials such as food and medicines and not reporting for work.

She said she has already prepared herself “psychologically and mentally” that there might be a sudden surge of COVID-19 cases under the GCQ.

“As we can see now, we are seeing many people going out… I am psychologically and mentally prepared as well as our system, but I am reminding all of you that there is still a quarantine that is a general community quarantine,” she said.

Duterte said the stubborn violators of the quarantine protocols might as well prepare their P2 million for their hospitalization and “last will and testament” in case they will die of the infection.

As of Monday, the city, considered as the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in Mindanao, recorded a total of 184 cases. Of this total, 92 have already recovered and 25 have died.

She said the city has a total of 14 isolation facilities with a total of 503 beds.

The mayor said the local government is negotiating with private hospitals here to be designated as COVID-19 centers if the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) could no longer accommodate more COVID-19 patients. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)