Graves dug in Manchester ready for coronavirus crisis in case cemetery workers go off sick – The Sun

GRAVES are being pre-dug in Manchester amid the coronavirus crisis in case cemetery workers are forced to go off sick.

Pictures taken today show eight open graves at Manchester’s Southern Cemetery with piles of earth next to them.

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The council confirmed the "additional" graves were being dug in case its workers have to be signed off sick due to the pandemic.

But they denied they were being prepared specifically for coronavirus victims as the death toll continues to rise in the UK.

A spokesperson for Manchester City Council said: "It is relatively common practice for some graves to be dug ahead of them being specifically needed.

"With staffing levels fluctuating in the current period and the potential for more workers to self-isolate in the weeks ahead, it makes sense given the fair weather to prepare a small number of extra graves now as a contingency measure.

"We would note that although the country is experiencing a pandemic, and we have to be mindful of that, these graves are not earmarked specifically for Covid-19 victims or any other category of death."

It comes as two large fridges have been set up in the car park of the Ghamkol Sharif Central Jamia Mosque in Small Heath, Birmingham.

These are intended to become temporary morgues during the COVID-19 crisis gripping the country.

Earlier this month a mobile mortuary was swiftly set up in London to cope with the number of bodies from the coronavirus pandemic.

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Westminster Public Mortuary has space for 102 bodies, but the expanded tent set up will see this almost doubled – as London becomes the worst hit.

A Westminster council worker at the site behind a coroners court, said the refrigerated racked tent would double the council's capacity.

He also said councils were building similar tents to expand capacity as much as possible in the pandemic.

Adding: "The tent will be up today and will be ready by the weekend.

"We hopefully won't ever need them. But you saw the numbers of what could happen, so we need to be prepared."

It comes as 381 people including a teen with no underlying health conditions died in 24 hours.

Britain's grim death toll now stands at 1,789 with 25,150 positive Covid-19 cases – up 2,706 from yesterday.

The latest figures from the Department of Health reveal 381 people have died in 24 hours after a rise of 180 deaths in the same time period yesterday.

In England, the NHS today confirmed the death rate had also more than doubled from 159 yesterday to 367 today in the biggest 24-hour leap so far.


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