Why South Africa needs a mobile mortuary right now

Do not kiss the dead” – a strange sentiment that’s being reverberated across the globe, indicating the united impact of Covid-19.

In an attempt to ‘lower the curve’ of new infections, the South African government has imposed regulations that limit our movement. However, dangling the proverbial carrot of reconciliation in front of a nation is not going to last indefinitely. As lockdown measures ease up to allow more movement, the mortality rate could grow at pace. And Minus40 is preparing for the worst-case scenario, with a production effort that will increase the mortuary capacity in the coming months.

Minus40 has become synonymous with medical refrigeration in South Africa, partly due to its innovation and superior engineering capability at the production level. With its team of engineers, the company recently released plans for its first mobile mortuary container that offer solutions to the Covid-19 crisis in some groundbreaking ways.

1 New regulation on contaminated bodies

According to government regulation, the bodies of the deceased Covid-19 patients are considered hazardous, and family members are not allowed to touch or even kiss them. Due to the contamination risk, these cadavers also need to be kept in a separate refrigerated unit. Therefore, the mobile mortuary will be utilised as a contamination zone that relocates the recently deceased to a secure, hygienic and respectful facility off grounds.

2 Mobility

The fact that the entire mortuary fridge is designed within the confines of a shipping container enables easy transportation. Once on-site, units are positioned with ease, and with the added features – including hydraulic lifting trolleys – staff can move bodies effortlessly.

3 Plug-n-play

Numerous field hospitals are currently being erected around the country with limited infrastructure. Therefore, the mobile mortuary was designed to function on its own, with just a power supply required. The facility can be operational within 2 hours.

4 Ease-of-use

Minus40 is South Africa’s longest operating medical refrigeration specialist, and with that comes a comprehensive understanding of their medical partners’ needs. Nothing was overlooked as the team designed the interior of the mobile mortuary to a standard that is true to their name. The facility is compliant with international regulation, all surfaces are stainless steel and thus easy to clean, cadaver trolleys were designed to enable even the smallest nurse to move and reach the uppermost body trays, the entry ramp is wide enough to ensure no unnecessary accidents, the doors are lined, and the entire mortuary can be locked up.

5 Refrigeration

The system was developed to create a temporary space for contaminated cadavers in order to provide the necessary time for their transport to a mortuary. With the currently crowed mortuaries and lack of refrigeration, this solution might be temporary for the bodies therein, but the mobile mortuary will become a permanent solution for medical staff for months to come.

6 Performance

It goes without saying that a product produced by Minus40 will come with their seal of approval and comprehensive maintenance package. The South African public and its medical staff must rest assured that their loved ones who’ve succumbed to this disease will have a facility that is respectful, regulated and tempered to the highest standards Minus40 can offer.

7 Capacity

And finally, with a capacity to facilitate 20 cadavers at a time, the mobile mortuary is a solution to a pressing problem. As the crisis ensues, we South Africans should not have to lower our expectations when it comes to the treatment of our loved ones.