Soldiers and workers for the mayor’s office in Córdoba are digging hundreds of graves at a cemetery near the provincial capital, in advance of a potential flood of victims from the coronavirus pandemic.
The news was confirmed by a union spokesperson, Damián Bizzi, press secretary for the Union of Municipal Workers and Employees of Córdoba (SUOEM), in a post on Facebook this weekend, according to the AFP news agency.
"Our compañeros at the cemeteries have informed us that they were ordered to dig to be prepared. Two-hundred-and-fifty graves have already been excavated by our workers, in addition to the work carried out by the Army. Furthermore, the cremation furnaces are being readied, putting them in condition," he revealed.
According to Bizzi, about 10 graves are normally dug each day, but workers are making about 90 daily at the moment.
Officials in Córdoba, Argentina’s second-biggest city with 1.4 million inhabitants, did not provide information on the number of graves being dug at the Cementerio San Vicente, which is located about 15 kilometres away from the provincial capital.
As of Sunday, the province had recorded 201 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with 32 fatalities. More than 2,000 people have been infected in Argentina overall, with 97 deaths.
On Sunday, authorities declared a state of epidemiological alert in several towns in the Sierras Chicas region, northwest of the provincial capital. The province’s Emergency Operations Center (COE) took the measure after registering 27 positive cases at a retirement home, according to the mayor of the town of Saldán, Cayetano Canto.
Córdoba’s COE last week issued a protocol relating to the handling of the bodies of Covid-19 victims, indicating in a text that they should "preferably" be cremated without an autopsy being conducted for reasons of sanitation.