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South African Muslim Group Safely Buries Its Virus Dead

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Family members and volunteers from the Saaberie Chishty Society lower the body of a COVID-19 victim into a grave at the Avalon cemetery in Lenasia, South Africa, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. For more than 30 years, the Saaberie Chishty ambulance service has responded to medical emergencies in a tight-knit Muslim community in Johannesburg. Now, as COVID-19 sweeps through, the service has greatly expanded to offer oxygen and home care. Confronted by an increased number of deaths, it also provides safe body preparation and burial to assure that people are still buried according to Muslim tradition. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)

(AP) — For more than 30 years, the Saaberie Chishty ambulance service has responded to medical emergencies in a tight-knit Muslim community in Johannesburg.

Now, as COVID-19 sweeps through, the service has greatly expanded to offer oxygen and home care. Confronted by an increased number of deaths, it also provides safe body preparation and burial to assure that people are still buried according to Muslim tradition.

The service says that “the challenge of this disease has increased unity in our community. People have stepped up and are helping each other more than they did before.”

 

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