Jakarta. Pondok Ranggon Public Cemetery, a burial ground in East Jakarta, the city administration reserve for Covid-19 victims, has run out of space for new burials as the capital stayed on course to see the deadliest month since the pandemic began nine months ago.
Muhaemin, a Pondok Ranggon's manager, said he had resorted to issuing reference letters to health workers or families who bring new victim bodies to the cemetery so they can bury the body elsewhere. Apart from Pondok Ranggon, they also assigned five other public cemeteries, including Tegal Alur, in West Jakarta, for Covid-19 victim burial.
"On average, it's about 75 bodies delivered to Pondok Ranggon every day. About 50 bodies will be directed to Tegal Alur, while 25 other bodies are buried in other cemeteries," Muhaemin said as quoted by Antara news agency.
Also, should the victim had a relative already buried in Pondok Ranggon, their families could opt to bury them in the same tomb, he said.
Muhaemin said Pondok Ranggon had buried 4,650 bodies of Covid-19 patients from March to Dec 25. That exceeds the special burial ground capacity reserved for Covid-19 patients, even with an additional 13,300-meter square burial plot that the city government opened in October.
Jakarta is the epicenter of Indonesia's Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 14 percent of the country's 108,000 active cases are in the capital by Monday.
The capital has reported 526 deaths so far this month, almost match its monthly record of 536 deaths in September. Jakarta has been reporting 16 Covid-19 deaths on average in the past week.
Burial data showed more worrying signs about the state of the pandemic in Jakarta. Jakarta buried 238 bodies, including those suspected to die with Covid-19, per day in November, 2.8 times its historical median for the past 10 years.