Corpses have been stored in industrial fridges for up to seven days due to a ‘300 body backlog’ at a morgue in UK.
Former chief prosecutor for the north-west of England Nazir Afzal said his older brother Umar, 71, passed away overnight in bed at his Birmingham home on April 8 after catching coronavirus. He says there was no space in the mortuary and the family had to wait around eight hours for an undertaker, who had 14 bodies to pick up that day.
The family were unable to follow the Islamic tradition of burying the deceased 24 hours after death, as the coroner told them they had a ‘300 body backlog’ to deal with. In total it took the family nine days to lay him to rest.
Mr Afzal thanked the coroners officer for working through the weekend to ensure they were given a death certificate after the bank holiday. The body of his brother, a former self-employed Home Office interpreter, was kept with many others in one of the undertaker’s industrial sized fridges placed in marquees beside a Birmingham mosque.
Mr Afzal, who initiated prosecutions in the Rochdale grooming gang case, says his brother was the ‘healthiest of us all’ and ‘didn’t look his age’.
He said the dad-of-seven could write and speak in ‘half a dozen languages’ and was described as ‘kind and professional’ by those who knew him, the BBC reports.
Mr Afzal added: ‘It was testing, beyond testing… it has been really traumatic for whole family, for my mother, who is skin and bone and now she’s got a broken heart.’