Mosque’s makeshift morgue shows virus toll on UK minorities
During a time when major mosques such as the Central Jamia Mosque Ghamkhol Sharif in Birmingham should be full of worshippers, they have instead closed to the public, turning their empty parking lot into temporary morgues with room for hundreds of bodies. With the Islamic holy month of Ramadan underway, the mosque parking lots would typically be packed with cars as people travel to the mosques to worship but are rather being used to hold victims of COVID-19.
The volunteer-run mortuary in Birmingham consists of neat stacks of coffins, industrial refrigerators, and represents evidence of the toll the virus is currently imposing on Britain’s minority communities. London and Birmingham, the two most diverse regions of the UK, have experienced the highest death rates in the country. A mosque trustee who was crucial in setting up the mortuary stated that the mosque holds, on average, one or two funerals a week, however, the past two weeks have seen an average of five to six funerals per week.