Two cemeteries in Istanbul designated for virus victims
In line with recommendations from the Health Ministry’s Science Council and the Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), two cemeteries have been designated for the burial of those who died from the coronavirus.
One of those sites is in Istanbul’s Beykoz district, on the Asian shore of the city, while the other designated burial site is located in the Kilyos neighborhood on the European side.
As part the measures aimed at slowing the spread of the virus pandemic, the bodies of the deceased are buried with caskets.
Officials, however, have said bodies could be laid to rest next to their deceased families as long as the rule for the burial with caskets are observed. Relatives could also be allowed to transfer the bodies from the designated cemeteries to family graves after six months to one year.
There are no risks of virus transmitting from deceased person to healthy individuals, said Professor Kemalettin Aydın, deputy dean at the Health Sciences University.
“There has not been any case of the virus penetrating the soil and then to plants and from there to human. Regulator burial procedures are implemented for those who lost their lives because of the virus,” Aydın added.
Aydın, however, noted that the people who wash the deceased’s body — which is customary in Islam — should take necessary precautions, such as wearing protective masks, glasses, gloves and gowns.
Meanwhile, teams from the local municipality have diggen graves in the woodland in the Yukarı Baklaci area of the Çekmeköy district, which has drawn criticism from the local residents. Riot police dispersed crowds protesting the burials in their neighborhood.