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Funeral kits run short in Malegaon as lockdown deaths mount

The total deaths in Malegaon in the last two months account to more than half of the Coronavirus deaths India has recorded till Tuesday April 28

Wednesday April 29, 2020 1:37 AM, ummid.com Staff Reporter

Malegaon Corona update

[“This is unprecedented, sudden and unexpected surge in the number of casualties. We were already in short supply of funeral kits because of the lockdown. But, the situation now has gone from bad to worse”, Mohammed Faqeeruddin, who supplies funeral kits, said. (Photo: Zohair M Safwan/ummid.com)]

Malegaon: Adding to the pain of the people in Malegaon who are losing their near and dear ones almost one every hour, the suppliers and staff at local cemeteries are now complaining of the shortage of funeral kits.

"The situation may worsen if something is not done urgently", they told ummid.com.

The fatality rate in Malegaon jumped to an alarming level in March-April after the government clamped lockdown to contain the spread of Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19).

The lockdown however proved deadly for the local residents suffering from diabetes, asthma, and from other ailments related to heart and kidney.

Also Read | Over 500 deaths since March 1, healthcare system in Malegaon crashes again

Such patients need routine medical assistance. But, they have been pushed closer to death as local doctors and hospitals have refused to provide them the needed medical assistance because of the Coronavirus outbreak and the consequent lockdown.

According to the Bada Qabristan records, Malegaon has reported more than 570 deaths since March 01, 2020 that includes 12 due to Coronavirus. The city has reported 80 deaths in the last 03 days alone – most of them died because of diabetes, hypertension and cardiac arrest.

The total deaths in Malegaon in the last two months account to more than half of the Coronavirus deaths India has recorded till Tuesday April 28.

“This is unprecedented, sudden and unexpected surge in the number of casualties. We were already in short supply of funeral kits because of the lockdown. But, the situation now has gone from bad to worse”, Mohammed Faqeeruddin, who supplies funeral kits, said while talking to ummid.com.

A funeral kit for Muslim burial consists of white kaffan (shroud), kafoor (camphor), perfume, woven bamboo mat and wood.

“There is almost zero stock of white kaffan and woven bamboo mats. As an adjustment, we are using locally manufactured fabric as kaffan and plastic sheets instead of woven bamboo mats”, Faqeer Mohammad, one of the members of the local team that takes care of the final rites of Muslims, told ummid.com.

The funeral kit suppliers said they have very limited stock of kafoor and wood, a layer of which is placed above the dead body after it is laid in the grave.

Also Read | Confusion mars Coronavirus cases, deaths in Malegaon

“Shortage of kaffan and mat can be adjusted. But, if kafoor and wood run short, it will create problems for the last rites of the deceased”, Faqeeruddin said.

While wood is supplied by local timber marts, kafoor is brought to the city from outside.

“We are helpless because all transport services are stopped due to lockdown. Something is urgently needed to be done before whatever limited stock we have is also vanished”, he said.

Advocate Niyaz Lodhi, Chief Trustee of the Bada Qabaristan, while agreeing that the matter needs urgent action said, “Like food essentials and medicines, the local administration should also ensure the supply of the materials needed for the last rites of the deceased.”

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