The work to convert part of the Birmingham Airport into a mortuary which can potentially store at least 1,500 bodies has already begun. The West Midlands Police has reportedly informed that there was "scope to expand" the capacity of this mortuary as the region prepared for an increase in coronavirus deaths.
This comes as the NHS confirmed that as of April 1st there are 734 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Birmingham alone out of a local population of 1,141,374. West Midlands is expected to have a high death rate given the number of large urban centres like Birmingham, Dudley and Wolverhampton.
The airport is currently working to provide land and a hangar for the temporary morgue. The force said regional mortuaries may close as staff were transferred to the new facility, which could eventually accommodate all deaths across the West Midlands.
In the meantime, Green Lane Mosque, Birmingham Central Mosque and Central Funeral Services are working together for the first time to help Muslim families bury their loved ones in a timely and safe manner. The volunteers at the Mosque are no longer carrying out the ritual of washing the body of a Covid-19 patient before the burial for health and safety reasons.