The Guardian

The Guardian 18 May 2020

Pandemic funerals: inside a mortuary during coronavirus


The funeral industry has had to adapt to new regulations around death care during the pandemic at the same time as dealing with an increase in work. Poppy's Funerals in south London is one provider that believes that public health concerns should not impact upon its ability to carry out its role with humanity and respect. The Guardian spent the day inside its mortuary to see how the firm and its staff have adapted to the new challenges they face. With thanks to Jeanne Rathbone and family

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Medical students provide free health care and consultations to the homeless during the coronavirus pandemic, Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, May 3.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who has held power in the former Soviet nation of 9.5 million people since 1994, has in recent weeks downplayed the need for social distancing and other measures to stem the spread of the virus.

He has said that drinking vodka, driving tractors and bathing in a sauna could help fight it, and he has been shown playing ice hockey matches and embracing other players.

Belarus has so far recorded 16,705 cases and 99 coronavirus-related deaths.

A World Health Organization delegation said the virus had begun spreading through communities in the capital Minsk and in other parts of the country.

The WHO recommended that Belarus "introduce community-wide measures to increase physical distancing", and continue with isolation measures, testing and tracing the contacts of coronavirus patients.

Belarus has continued to stage professional soccer games, while other European countries have imposed lockdowns and cancelled all public events.

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