Children’s bodies among ‘unclaimed’

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THE bodies of 16 children between the ages of two and 12 left by their relatives in a hospital morgue for months are among the 253 to be given a mass burial in Port Moresby.
It is also referred to as a pauper’s burial – when someone dies a destitute without anyone to pay for their funeral expenses.
The 253 bodies had been in the Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH) morgue since April, according to hospital chief executive officer Dr Paki Molumi.
National Pandemic Response Controller David Manning said the pauper’s burial was necessary.
“The mortuary is now filled to and beyond capacity with more than 300 bodies stacked on top of one another as more Coronavirus (Covid-19) bodies are brought in from the wards and homes,” he said.
National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop said they were “working towards a mass burial”.
PMGH director of medical services Dr Kone Sobi said the hospital conducted four mass burials a year with each costing between K25,000 and K35,000, depending on the number of bodies.
A newspaper advertisement will detail the names and ages of the people who had died and had been left unclaimed for months.
After three days, the PMGH will take the bodies to a plot allocated by the National Capital District Commission (NCDC) to be buried together.