Construction authorities in the southern Vietnamese province of Soc Trang have proposed the local administration allow the building of an electric crematorium for handling dead bodies of COVID-19 patients.
The proposal came amid the increasing coronavirus infections following the throngs of people leaving virus-hit localities for their hometowns in Soc Trang since October 1, when the government began loosening restrictions to reactivate economic activities under 'new normal conditions,' a source told Tuoi Tre (Youth) on Thursday.
The crematorium will be built at An Vien Thien Duong Cemetery in Chau Thanh District at a cost of some VND14.9 billion (US$656,000) for handling corpses of COVID-19 victims according to the heath sector’s regulations, the proposal said.
The crematory, which will be constructed with U.S. technology, will comprise a funeral service hall, a site for reception of dead bodies and delivery of ashes, an incinerator and auxiliary works, and employee rooms, among other facilities.
Qualified and experienced contractors will be chosen to build and complete the crematorium within 60 days after approval by the Soc Trang administration, the provincial Department of Construction said in its proposal.
The expenditure for the facility will come from the province’s budget, the agency added.
Among the 40,000 people who have recently returned to Soc Trang, many have been found infected with COVID-19, local health authorities reported.
The Mekong Delta province has taken measures to curb the coronavirus spread, but new infections have sharply increased in recent days.
On October 13 alone, the province recorded 207 cases, of which 20 were detected through community screening.
Currently, the province has 2,751 COVID-19 patients, of whom 1,506 are being treated at medical facilities, according to local health authorities.
On October 9, the local administration approved a project to urgently transform the Ho Nuoc Ngot (Fresh Water Lake) Exhibition Center in the provincial capital of Soc Trang into a facility for centralized quarantine and treatment of COVID-19 patients.
This facility will offer 500 beds upon completion and is expected to complete within 25 days at a cost of VND19.2 billion ($845,300) from the provincial coffers.
Since the pandemic erupted in the country in early 2020, Soc Trang has documented 2,560 COVID-19 cases, including 23 deaths, the Ministry of Heath reported.
Nationwide, the total patient number has reached 853,842, comprising 788,005 recoveries and 20,950 fatalities.
The coronavirus has spread to 62 out of the country’s 63 cities and provinces, except for Cao Bang, where measures to prevent virus penetration have been strictly applied.