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West Midlands pulls together during the coronavirus crisis

The West Midlands is experiencing some of the highest death rates in this phase of the coronavirus outbreak.

It's not unusual for communities here to pull together in times of crisis and that's exactly what is happening.

Green Lane Mosque, Birmingham Central Mosque and Central Funeral Services are working together for the first time to help Muslim families bury their loved ones in a timely and safe manner.

The West Midlands is experiencing some of the highest death rates in this phase of the coronavirus outbreak. Credit: ITV Central

Green Lane Mosque has installed a 12 metre (40ft) refrigerated shipping container in the car park to store those who have died after contracting Covid-19.

The Mosque does have a mortuary inside, but only non-Covid-19 cases are allowed in.

The volunteers at the Mosque are no longer carrying out the ritual of washing the body of a Covid-19 patient before the burial for health and safety reasons.

Often family members are involved in this ritual when the body is wrapped in white sheets and placed into the casket.

Green Lane Mosque has installed a 12 metre (40ft) refrigerated shipping container in the car park. Credit: ITV Central

Those behind the project are keen to help families who are self-isolating and following the Government guidelines.

Across the Midlands, hundreds of families are dealing with loss.

We met Jawaad Ashraf.

His uncle died on Sunday, one week after being admitted to hospital and 10 days after first experiencing symptoms.

He did have type 2 diabetes.

Mr Ashraf told us that as soon as his uncle started to cough he decided to self-isolate to protect others.

The West Midlands is expected to have a high death rate given the number of large urban centres like Birmingham, Dudley and Wolverhampton.

Jawaad told us that as soon as his uncle started to cough he decided to self-isolate to protect others. Credit: ITV News

Dr Rinesh Parmar, who works in an intensive care unit in the West Midlands, said he was not surprised that the region was experiencing high case rates.

After we spoke, Dr Parmar got called in to work on a day off.

He said his shift was "significantly" busier in his department than a few days earlier.

"We're moving patients from one hospital to another to free up capacity," he said.

Extra capacity is coming.

The National Exhibition Centre is expected to open as in the coming weeks and Birmingham Airport is due to open a mortuary.

Precisely when these resources will open is still unknown.

There's no doubt that it's required already.

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know