Jakarta sets up cemetery for additional COVID-19 graves as burial space running out

News Desk

The Jakarta Post


Jakarta   /  Tue, September 29, 2020  /  03:23 pm

Daily grind: One man digs a grave at the COVID-19 burial ground at Pondok Ranggon public cemetery in East Jakarta, on Monday, while another worker wearing personal protective gear helps him. The latter was originally tasked with carrying the bodies of COVID-19 victims, but he was needed to help the gravediggers, who have been under pressure due to the large number of burials.(JP/P.J. Leo)

The Jakarta administration is setting up a 2-hectare plot of land in Rorotan public cemetery in North Jakarta for COVID-19 graves as burial space for victims of the coronavirus in the capital city is running out.

Jakarta Bina Marga road agency head Hari Nugroho said the administration was currently preparing the land to be used for burials and building the necessary infrastructure.

"We're preparing the land and building a road to access the cemetery. Construction progress is at 4 percent," Hari said on Monday as quoted by tempo.co.

The agency will also level the land surface to make the burial process easier.

The project started on Sep 17 and is expected to finish in December.

"We expect this 2-hectare burial space to accommodate 6,000 funerals," Hari further said.

Read also: Gravediggers under strain as COVID-19 burials surge in Jakarta

The city administration provided the additional land for COVID-19 graves as coronavirus cases in Jakarta continue to rise and burial grounds designated for the victims have started to run out.

Nadi, the management officer of Pondok Ranggon public cemetery in East Jakarta, said on Sept. 14 that there was only space left for another 1,100 COVID-19 burials in the cemetery’s southern area of 7,000 square meters.

The capacity was likely to be critical in mid-October and it was estimated that, in October, the remaining land may only be able to accommodate 380 to 400 bodies, he added.

Since the pandemic hit the country in March, 6,248 bodies have been buried with COVID-19 protocols in Jakarta.

In September, the capital city recorded COVID-19 1,372 burials, the highest monthly rise yet. (nal)