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Ghanaians Find it Hard to Change their Burial Rituals

Since the coronavirus pandemic put a stop to large public gatherings, relatives have opted to store corpses of their loved ones in morgues for longer than usual until they can hold a proper funeral. Ghanaian funerals usually last several days and up to a week in some parts. They are deeply symbolic ceremonies involving thousands of mourners to celebrate the life of the deceased. So it was a bitter pill to swallow for many, when the country’s president, Nana Akufo-Addo, imposed the ban on large gatherings. He offered an alternative: perform a private burial with no more than 25 guests. A few families have taken this route, but by and large, many relatives have opted to wait until the ban is lifted to bury their loved ones.  At Gillman and Abbey Funeral Services located in Accra, they have also seen a rise in the number of bodies stored in their morgues. Storing bodies there is charged at a daily rate but fewer families are arranging for bodies to be removed. Meanwhile, at Pantang, some have expressed concern because the number of bodies at its morgue has created congestion, posing a health risk to workers serving on the front lines.