Jakarta cemetery space about to run out as COVID-19 burials increase

East Jakarta’s Pondok Ranggon cemetery expects to run out of space for COVID-19 graves in October because of the recent increase in the number of burials.

Nadi, the cemetery’s management officer, said there was only space left for another 1,100 burials in the cemetery’s southern area of 7,000 square meters.

“The capacity is likely to be critical in mid-October,” Nadi said on Saturday, as quoted by kompas.com.

Workers dig graves while others place the body of a COVID-19 victim in a burial plot at the Pondok Ranggon public cemetery in East Java on July 27. (JP/P.J. Leo)

It is estimated that, during October, the remaining land may only accommodate 380 to 400 bodies.

Nadi said the average number of bodies buried at the Pondok Ranggon cemetery was 700 a month. In August, an average 27 bodies were buried per day. “Aug. 31 set a record with 36 bodies buried that day, the highest number ever since I was put in charge in March,” he said.

Since the establishment of the Pondok Ranggon cemetery as a COVID-19 burial location in March, the cemetery authorities have opened eight new plots and buried 2,623 bodies.

“We use plot numbers 91 to 99 [for COVID-19 graves], except plot number 97, which is used for the general public. A plot can accommodate 240 to 300 bodies,” said Nadi.

Regarding the possibility of the cemetery reaching its limit in October, Nadi admitted that his party had not come up with any plan. He only hoped that the number of COVID-19 cases and hence the death toll would be reduced so that there would be fewer bodies of COVID-19 patients to bury

THE JAKARTA POST

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