Coronavirus

Mosques set up temporary mortuaries to help strain on services

At least 10 mosques in the UK have set up temporary mortuaries to  help cope with the number of deaths due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Sky News, with a large number of deaths in locations with a large muslim populations, such as London and Bimigham, mosques have been “inundated” with requests for burials.

A Birmingham mosque told Sky News that it is now carrying out around 25 funerals a week due to the coronavirus outbreak, compared with a similar number of funerals it would normally do in a year.

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Green Lane Masjid in Birmingham said it has to Islamically prepare at least five bodies a day due to a surge of deaths within the community. It said the mosques prayer halls would be usually filled with worshippers during the holy month of Ramadan, but are now filled with coffins.

To cope with the demand, the mosque car park now houses a 40ft refrigerated container which has been drafted to store 30 extra bodies.

Adib Khan, lead volunteer, told Sky News: “We’ll normally on average do between 20 to 25 funerals a year, we’ve been averaging that many a week.

“We now do five or six funerals a day. Including collections of bodies from hospitals and homes. We’ve had pickups in the middle of the night, with teams going out in out-of-hours and they pick up the deceased from homes or care homes in the community.”

He said due to the Covid-19 crisis there’s been a “massive increase in the number of deaths and we’ve had to bring in a container. This container can store up to 30 bodies that we’ve specially had racked out. It’s a massive increase in terms of our capacity.”

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