Cadavers overwhelm Cebu City funeral parlors, crematorium fully booked until end of August

Published August 5, 2021, 6:49 PM

by Calvin Cordova 

CEBU CITY – Aside from overwhelmed hospitals, the city is also now dealing with overwhelmed funeral parlors.

The two biggest funeral parlors here have stopped accepting cadavers for cremation as COVID-19 deaths in Cebu Island continued to pile up.

One of the Cebu City-based crematoriums is fully booked until August 12 while the other one is booked until August 29.

The manager of a funeral parlor said they are prioritizing those who died due to COVID-19 or those who were suspected to be infected with the virus.

The crematorium has already processed 19 bodies from August 1 to August 5, said the manager, who asked not to be named.

“Until August 12, we have 28 pending bodies of COVID-19 cases which are still due for cremation. These bodies are mostly from Cebu City while one is from Mandaue City,” the manager said.

“These bodies are supposed to be stored in the hospitals until they are brought to us since we do not accept storage of these 28 bodies,” the manager added.

The manager said they can process four cremations a day. Each cremation would take at least three hours to complete.

Only four cremations are being done a day to prevent the facility from bogging down, the manager said.

The manager revealed that there were times when they had to pick up cadavers of suspected COVID-19 from smaller funeral parlors which are being used as storage after hospitals releases the bodies eight hours after the death.

Sending cadavers to other funerals with no crematoriums is not advisable to prevent possible spread of the virus, the manager said.

The manager added that the demand for cremation started in July.

“The demand increased by about 80 percent,” the manager said.

The cost of cremation ranged between P40,000 and P50,000

Data from the Department of Health -Central Visayas showed that there were at least 100 deaths from August 1 to August 4 in Metro Cebu.

Of the total deaths, 50 came from Cebu province followed by Cebu City with 38.