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Mosque prepares to store extra bodies with changes to burial rituals

Green Lane mosque in Birmingham Credit: ITV Central

A mosque in Birmingham is preparing to store extra bodies and is changing the way its burial rituals take place, following the coronavirus outbreak.

According to Islamic law, a body should be buried as soon as possible from the time of death - which usually happens within 24 hours - but with an increasing number of deaths, this is proving difficult for some mosques.

There has already been an increase in the number of empty coffins leaving Green Lane Mosque as people die from COVID-19 in hospital.

The container will store an extra 30 bodies, with the possibility of another two containers arriving in the future Credit: ITV Central

A container to store 30 bodies has arrived on the site, as volunteers anticipate an increase in the number of bodies having to be held before burial.

Abid Khan is coordinating the COVID-19 team of volunteers at Green Lane mosque:

The pandemic and subsequent Government guidelines on social distancing means some parts of the traditional burial process are no longer an option for Muslim families at Green Lane mosque.

To keep volunteers protected, bodies are no longer washed and shrouded as usual - instead they are collected by casket at the hospital, sealed and brought to the mosque - where they will be stored until a burial slot is available.

Credit: ITV Central

The mosque, that would usually be a space for prayers, is now beginning to store empty caskets - ready to be sent to hospital to collect bodies for burial.

PPE and disinfecting stations have been created outside the mosque, where volunteers are already spraying funeral cars and caskets.

Volunteers are wearing PPE and disinfecting funeral cars and caskets Credit: ITV Central

Dr Saba Jaleel is a volunteer at the Green Lane mosque and says they're enforcing the safest option for everyone:

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