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Graves could be dug in advance for victims of swine flu if the pandemic escalates.
08-19-2009, 06:40 PM,
Graves could be dug in advance for victims of swine flu if the pandemic escalates.
Graves plan for swine flu pandemic

5 hours 33 mins ago
Press Assoc.

Graves could be dug in advance for victims of swine flu if the pandemic escalates. Skip related content
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Graves plan for swine flu pandemic

A Home Office document published earlier this year sets out plans for how local councils should deal with a high death toll, including setting up temporary mortuaries if necessary.

Estimates of the number of deaths range from 55,000 to as high as 750,000.

So far, 44 people in England have been confirmed as dying after contracting swine flu and another five have died in Scotland.

The document says that while most cemeteries have sufficient burial capacity for a number of years, this could be put to the test at the peak of a pandemic.

"As a back-up option for higher fatality rates, cemetery managers should plan alternative ways of providing graves," it said. "Back-up options are likely to be required should there be an increase in the proportion of burials or if high rates of staff absenteeism are experienced."

It discusses the possibility of using graves for unrelated people.

At the height of a pandemic, there would be a move towards making graves "which can allow interments to be undertaken more quickly".

"One option is prior mechanical preparation of the burial site for multiple graves and consecutive burials.

"This process would allow for, and require, marking of the position of individual burials, and the normal statutory requirements for recording them, but could not normally allow for the adjacent burial of family members."

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