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Funeral Services and Funeral Prayer Protocols

Professionals & Health Workers

Notice from Ministry of Interior: This will be implemented starting at 10:00 P.M, Thursday, 22 Jumada II 1442 AH, corresponding to February 04, 2021

  • Distributing prayers to funerals in cemeteries at all times of the day to reduce the number of mourners at one time, in addition to preparing places for funeral prayer to apply social distancing during prayer
  • separate burial places, at a time, by a distance of 100 meters – as much as possible – in the cemetery, to ensure the separation between the mourners.
  • The Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing shell assign field monitoring teams to ensure compliance with the application of preventive and precautionary measures and approved protocols, social distancing, and wearing masks in cemeteries.

Prevention and the environment

  • Cemetery employees must wear masks at all times.
  • Attendees must wear masks at all times.
  • Cemetery doors must be disinfected before and after the deceased is buried.
  • The tools used for digging and burial must be disinfected before and after the deceased is buried.
  • People in charge of the excavation, carrying the deceased, and those responsible for the burial process must wash their hands with soap and water for at least 40 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not available, hands must be periodically disinfected for a period of no less than 20 seconds with an approved disinfectant that contains at least 60-80% of alcohol.

Social distancing

  • Funeral attendance should be reduced to only 50 people.
  • Crowded must be avoided at the funeral.
  • The number of people responsible for digging should be reduced to two, and it is preferable if they are from the cemetery employees, if any.
  • The number of those responsible for carrying the deceased and the burial process should be reduced to the lowest possible number. Prevent crowding at the grave for those not responsible for the burial process, so that from 4 to 8 people are assigned to the process of carrying the funeral bier, and they must be of one family. Assign 2 to 4 people to the process of placing the deceased in the grave and the burial process.
  • Sharing of excavation and burial equipment between the people responsible for the excavation and burial process should be prohibited.
  • Social distancing between attendees must be maintained for a distance of at least one and a half meters.
  • Prayers should be prohibited at the funeral in the mosque, and they should be limited to prayers in the cemetery.
  • A distance of at least one and a half meters should be left between each worshiper and the other during the funeral prayer.
  • If there is not enough space for prayer in the cemetery, the prayer should be performed several times to ensure separation between individuals, and prevent crowding.
  • Shaking hands and touching relatives of the deceased should be prohibited when offering condolences.
  • It is preferable to prevent children under 15 years of age, the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases (according to Appendix A) from attending the funeral.
  • If there is more than one funeral, the burial times must be distributed to ensure that there is no crowding. Allocate a specific time for each funeral, and prevent two corpses from being buried simultaneously.

Monitoring symptoms

  • Cemetery employees and the Mohtasibeen (volunteers) should disclose when they experience respiratory symptoms or fever, and avoid attending the funeral.

Awareness

  • Distribute awareness posters at the cemetery gate. It is preferable to include the following:
    1. Methods of disease transmission and prevention.
    2. Raising awareness of washing hands and avoiding touching the eyes, nose and mouth before washing hands, and urging attention to personal and health care.
    3. Following the etiquette of sneezing and coughing (use a tissue and dispose of it as soon as possible, use the elbow by bending the arm).
  • The relatives of the deceased must be educated about procedures that will be followed, including limiting attendance to 50 people, and the need to identify them before attending.
  • Relatives of the deceased must educate the community not to come to the cemetery, and that attendance is limited to 50 relatives of the deceased only, by sending text messages or using any communication application.

Implementation

  • The authority in charge of the cemetery should place a monitoring mechanism to ensure the implementation of the protocols.
  • The cemetery administration must not open two or more graves in the cemetery at the same time.
  • It is preferable to have supervisors from the municipality to ensure that health requirements are not violated in the cemeteries.
  • It is preferable to have security personnel to prevent crowding, and to prevent people exceeding 50 individuals.
  • If there are employees in the cemetery, it is preferable that they supervise the process of organizing prayer, and preventing large numbers from entering the cemetery.
Appendix (1): Groups at higher risk of infection