Ukraine: the cremation of the deceased needs to wait 3 weeks

The EU has excluded Ukraine from the “green list” of countries safe for coronavirus. The tense epidemiological situation there is eloquently characterized by the state of affairs in the field of funeral services – coffins and hearses are becoming scarce, and the wait for cremation takes up to 3 weeks.

In the summary for November 9 in Ukraine, presented by the Ministry of Health: 23,283 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, 1,539 sick children, 529 sick health workers, 816 deaths, 5,696 people were hospitalized.

In large cities, they simply do not have time to bury the dead from the coronavirus in time, due to a sharp increase in the daily number of covid victims. In many regions of Ukraine, cemeteries are overloaded, there are not enough coffins and hearses, and the queue for cremation stretched for several weeks in advance. In Kharkov, the most tense situation, the number of the dead shocks even the owners of ritual services. Obelisk funeral director Michael says:

“I have been in this business for 15 years and I don’t remember so many people dying in just a month. We do not have time to bury it.”

And the director of the organization “Ritual Assistant” Mikhail Lymar says:

“Increasingly, the last two or three weeks there is a delay. The Odessa and Kharkov crematoria are closed, and the Kiev one is working in an incomprehensible mode. The funeral is planned several days in advance, all cemeteries and employees are overloaded, there are not enough coffins and cars, everything goes wrong. I don’t remember the years of my work.

The worst is in Kharkov, Kherson and Dnieper. For example, the Dnieper River cremated about 30-40% of bodies in Kharkov. Now there is no such possibility – neither Odessa nor Kharkov accepts nonresident. People are forced to look for alternative solutions. There are many calls from people who do not understand why the body cannot be buried and what happened. For people, this whole situation is a shock. “

Kiev is one of the cities with the highest death rate from coronavirus. Funeral parlors and crematoriums function in a mode of intensive work. However, the queue for cremation does not exceed two or three days, says an employee of the city hospital: “Usually cremation takes place in a day or two or even the next day after the procedures in the morgue.”

However, technical malfunctions in the Kharkov crematorium, when some of the furnaces stopped working, caused bodies to be “redirected” from other regions to Kiev (there are three crematoriums in Ukraine).

Funeral workers say that during the previous wave of coronavirus, there were no such problems with cremation and burial of the dead:

“We observe such a number of deaths for about two weeks or a month. In summer, there is always silence in ritual services. In autumn, people traditionally begin to die – they return from villages and dachas, the weather changes. For example, heart patients and hypertensive patients react very sensitively to climate change. one covid is not worth it. “

In the field of funeral services, it is believed that the peak of deaths from the coronavirus, which was observed in April this year, is not comparable to today’s situation, when many funeral agencies have to literally work around the clock.

Meanwhile, the mortality rate in Kiev and Kharkov is growing. The situation may worsen in the near future. An employee of the VEK funeral bureau says:

“There are still enough coffins and hearses in Kiev. But given the anti-death records, there is no idea how long they will last.”

The “covid” and “non-covid” are cremated separately. “The crematoria were divided into two periods of work – for the ordinary dead and for the covid ones. Therefore, queues arise,” one of the funeral agencies explains.

In the ritual service of the Dnieper they say:

“The mortality rate is high, this is a fact. We work endlessly, we can hardly cope. We already do not have enough goods. I have never met so many deaths in 23 years of work in this area. Now the emphasis is not on cremation, but on the burial of the dead, since the earth and the coffins are still there. “

At the same time, some of the funeral services speculate on increased mortality, doubling the prices of their services. It remains only to pity the relatives of the dead, to whose grief are added problems with burial, waiting for cremation and the exorbitant cost of the ritual ceremony of farewell to a loved one.

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