Measures have been put in place to finalize the development of an online system to help identify unclaimed and unidentified bodies in morgues across the state.
The online system, which is being developed by the Gauteng Department of Health, will further help reduce overcrowding in morgues.
The department said the Gauteng Forensic Pathology Information Management System would provide services including recording, tracking and reporting of deceased demographics. It will also generate autopsy and toxicology reports.
“There was a slight decrease in the number of unclaimed and unidentified bodies in fiscal year 2020/2021, which can be attributed to Covid-19 lockdowns,” the department said in a statement Thursday.
There have been 898 unclaimed and unidentified bodies registered in the past two years, the department said, down 275 from the 1,173 counted bodies registered in the 2019/2020 fiscal year.
A drop of 2,081 in the number of bodies stored in state mortuaries was recorded in the 2019/2020 fiscal year compared to the 18,324 bodies recorded in the 2018/2019 period.
The Forensic Services teamed up with the police to trace the families of those who died. Fingerprints are also used to identify the deceased.