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Karachi’s four graveyards designated to bury coronavirus victims

KARACHI: In order to take adequate measures in wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the local government in Karachu decided on Monday to allocate four graveyards specifically for the burial of those who died from the virus.

The decision was taken today in a meeting chaired by Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhtar, where measures were discussed to save the general public from the spread of the virus.

According to the outcome of the meeting, the city government officials will approach the Provincial Disaster Management Authority to acquire Personal Protective Equipment for undertakers.

According to the breakdown of the graveyards, for the central district, the graveyard in Shah Mohammad graveyard will be reserved. For both west and central districts, Surjani Town’s graveyard will be allocated.

Meanwhile, bodies will be buried in Mowachgoth graveyard for districts south and western. Korangi No 6 graveyard will also be utilized for burial of people belonging to the areas of Korangi and Malir.

The session also discussed that PPE will be provided to the graveyard staff before any burial.

The decision will come into effect in case of any new death from the coronavirus, that has so far claimed five lives in Sindh.

As of March 30, Pakistan has witnessed 19 deaths due to the pandemic, while more than 1,600 are reportedly infected.

After the deaths in the country, it was learnt that the graveyard staff and undertakers were reluctant to bury the dead due to the risk of infection, following which some SOPs were put in place by the authorities.

Following are the guidelines issued by the Sindh government for the COVID-19 deceased:

• Main Principle: Don’t touch, maintain distance, and minimize exposure

• Designated Team: Body preparation and burial by designated gender sensitive team

• Family Counselling: Family counselling to comply with SOPs to avoid risk of spread of disease

• PPEs: Teams and family member taking part in body preparation and burial must use PPEs

• Body preparation at hospital/place of death: Remove all of the deceased’s belongings and dispose in infectious waste. Process dry ablution and wrapping in coffin

• Packing in plastic bag

• Disinfection of surfaces and packed body with 5% chlorine

•Pack in coffin: Do not open the coffin

• Body Transportation: Transportation in deputed vehicle

• Janaza: Avoid large gathering, ensure social distancing and hygiene

• Burial: Laying the body in the grave by the team, the family may participate in the closing of the grave

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