This aerial photograph from Wednesday shows Pondok Ranggon Public Cemetery in East Jakarta has run out of burial space for Covid-19 victims. (SP Photo/Joanito de Saojoao)

Jakarta Cemetery Stacks Bodies in Old Tombs as Burial Space for Covid-19 Victim Runs Out Quickly

BY :HOTMAN SIREGAR

DECEMBER 04, 2020

Jakarta. Pondok Ranggon Public Cemetery, a burial ground in East Jakarta reserved for the Covid-19 victims, has run out of space and resorted to stacking the victims' bodies in existing tombs, as the number of pandemic deaths continues to rise in the capital. 

"The funeral block for Covid for Muslims has been full since two weeks ago. The best we can do now is to share a tomb if [the victims] are close family members," Jayadi, an administrative officer at Pondok Ranggon, told the Globe sister publication BeritaSatu.com earlier this week. 

The capital has recorded 2,710 Covid-19 deaths so far, but burial data suggested many more might have fall victims to the pneumonia-like disease. The data showed 9,085 people were buried under Covid-19 procedures from March 1 until Dec 2, Jakarta. 

The capital's total number of burials, including those with Covid-19 procedures and those without, reached 238 per day in November, almost triple its historical median for the past 10 years of 85 burials. 

Jayadi said there were noting the Pondok Ranggon cemetery could do as options to expand the cemetery has been exhausted. 

Jakarta administration last expanded Pondok Ranggon cemetery between August and September, adding around 13,300 square meters of burial ground for Covid-19 victims. 

Other than 30 more tombs for Christian burials, the cemetery could only offer staked burials for Muslims, whose close family members already buried there, Jayadi said.  

Other than that, Jayadi suggested Jakartans seeking burials in Tegal Alur. Governor Anies Baswedan designated Pondok Ranggon and Tegal Alur as special cemeteries for Covid-19 victims in March.

"There are still around 600 plots of TPU Tegal Alur for the bodies of Covid-19," he said.

Siti Hasni, the head of the Jakarta funeral division, refused to comment on Jakarta's burial ground issues. 

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