Getting a grave for Saad Malik, who lost his father a week ago due to the Corona virus in Iraq, became a dream because official burials and residents refused to receive the victims of the epidemic because they believed that they were a source of infection.

Malik and his cousin Salem al-Shammari left the quarantine a few days ago because they had contact with the deceased person. Since then, they have failed to secure a grave for the burial of Saad’s father, whose body was returned to the refrigerator in a Baghdad hospital.

"We have not performed a funeral for my father, and we cannot bury his body despite the fact that more than a week has passed since his death," said Malik, in a tone of sadness over the loss of his father.

"Does it make sense that this great Iraq does not have several meters to bury a small group of corpses?"

So far, the "Covid-19" virus has killed 42 Iraqis and infected about 550 people, according to the Iraqi Ministry of Health. But these numbers may be less than the actual existing injuries, as only about 2000 people out of 40 million people were examined throughout Iraq.

The great rejection comes from the Iraqi tribes with the last word in a country where customs and traditions prevail over the rule of law.

For example, a major clan in northeastern Baghdad, for example, banned a team from the Ministry of Health transporting four bodies buried in graves designated by the state for Corona victims.

When the same team tried to bury the bodies in the Nahrawan district in southeastern Baghdad, dozens of residents went out in a demonstration, prompting the team to return the bodies to hospital refrigerators.

Al-Shammari notes that "the cars of the gunmen who claimed to belong to a clan, threatened us and told us: We will burn your car if you are buried here, despite the presence of the police cars with us."

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Unjustified panic

"We felt panic over our children and our families ... so we decided to prevent any burial in our areas," said one resident who refused to be buried in a cemetery near them.

Despite the assurances of the Minister of Health, Jaafar Allawi, that things will go well, there are persistent protests that forced the minister to appeal to religious authorities to interfere in facilitating the burial.

The problem affected deaths in several governorates, including the city of Najaf (south of Baghdad), where the Peace Cemetery is among the largest in the world.

According to the families of the deceased, the authorities also failed to obtain permission to bury the city of Karbala because of the refusal of its local authorities, especially as it is considered a kiss for millions of Shiite visitors.

One of the doctors says that the authorities approached the Najaf authority to receive the body of a deceased person with the Coronavirus, but it was rejected, and the ministry became unable to find solutions.

"They handed me the body and I will bury it in my house," the husband of one of the women who died from the disease was quoted as saying after his despair.

There is great concern about losing control in Iraq, especially as it is adjacent to Iran, which has been hit hard by the virus and has so far killed more than 2,500 people.

The Iraqi authorities have launched a campaign of sterilization and disinfection in various cities, fearing the outbreak of Corona (Anatolia).

Life bed
According to the World Health Organization, there are 14 beds in Iraq in one hospital for every ten thousand people.

So the Iraqis are seeking alternatives to ensure their lives amid this health disaster.

For example, Mortada Al-Zubaidi seeks to help the Corona sufferer in Iraq with the "bed of life" that he invented, which is a transparent capsule containing a bed, an oxygen bottle, an air conditioner and a TV, which will be a place for the stone.

Al-Zubaidi made this capsule in the yard of his home in the southernmost city of Al-Zubair, with the support of government employee Aqil al-Tamimi.

"This is a human invention" in order to send "security and tranquility," says Al-Zubaidi, 49, a medical technology specialist.

Although this device cost four thousand dollars, there is no opinion of experts or doctors that it has a benefit or help in dealing with the epidemic.

The Ministry of Health spokesman, Saif Al-Badr, says in a video posted on social media that the burial ban is "an issue inconsistent with religious and humanitarian norms that stress that honoring the dead buried him."

He considered that the issue of the spread of disease from the dead "is not based on scientific facts", and that there are measures taken by the state to reduce risks "such as sterilization and wrapping the body with special bags and coffins."

The Supreme Shiite religious authority has ruled that the dead should be shrouded by the Corona epidemic in three garments (shrouds), and the authorities concerned should facilitate his burial in public cemeteries, and his body cannot be cremated.