KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 1): The recent hike in the number of Covid-19 fatalities has forced the funeral management team at several Muslim cemeteries in the city to use backhoes to dig graves as an effort to accelerate funeral services.
Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (JAWI) director Datuk Mohd Ajib Ismail said the team at the Raudhathul Sakinah Muslim Cemetery (TPIRS) on the KL-Karak Highway in Taman Selaseh and TPIRS Bukit Kiara sometimes has to bury more than 30 remains a day.
"JAWI has to take proactive measures by renting a backhoe to dig holes before our skilled diggers take over to prepare the graves.
"We also use the machine to help cover the graves, all this is done to speed up the funeral process," he told Bernama.
The Covid-19 Special Funeral Management Team manages funerals at hospitals and medical centres around Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, and Labuan, comprising 74 JAWI staff, 21 staff from the Malaysian Islamic Development Department and 18 from the Armed Forces Religious Corps, including 37 volunteer diggers and 54 volunteer van drivers.
He said the team handles the remains of Covid-19 patients from several hospitals including Kuala Lumpur Hospital, Ampang Hospital, Tuanku Muhriz Chancellor's Hospital, University of Malaya Medical Centre, National Heart Institute, Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital, Putrajaya Hospital, and the National Cancer Institute.
Mohd Ajib said so far, the highest number of remains the team has to manage in a day was 93 recorded on last Sunday, while yesterday 74 bodies were logged.
As of this morning, the team had buried a total of 2,352 Covid-19 victims aged between 41 and 80 years since March last year.
Mohd Ajib said he is thankful for the close cooperation from various agencies and volunteers that have helped the team to facilitate the funeral processes, adding that JAWI and the team strive to ensure that all funeral arrangements for Covid-19 victims will be conducted according to syariah.