Amid COVID surge, Sri Lankans use cardboard coffins for cremation

The coffins had been initially used principally for COVID victims however have grow to be extra well-liked amongst these involved concerning the surroundings.

At a manufacturing facility in Sri Lanka’s Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia metropolis, staff use staples and glue to assemble lengthy cardboard containers, which shall be used as coffins for among the nation’s coronavirus victims.

The coffin is made out of recycled paper and prices a sixth of the most affordable wood one, based on 51-year previous Priyantha Sahabandu, the native authorities official who first got here up with the concept.

As Sri Lanka’s loss of life toll from COVID-19 surges, some are choosing these cardboard coffins after they cremate their family members.

Workers carry a COVID-19 sufferer’s physique in a cardboard coffin for cremation at a cemetery on the outskirts of Colombo [Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters]

The nation recorded its highest each day loss of life toll of 198 on Friday, with whole fatalities reaching 7,560.

Currently, about 400 folks die per day on common in Sri Lanka of varied causes, together with COVID-19, stated Sahabandu, a member of the municipal council for Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, a metropolis in Colombo district.

“To make 400 coffins, you have to cut some 250 to 300 trees. To prevent that environmental destruction I proposed this concept to the health committee of the council,” he stated.

“With the spread of the coronavirus, people found it difficult to pay for expensive wooden coffins,” he stated.

A employee prepares cardboard to make coffins at a manufacturing facility near Colombo [Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters]

Each coffin prices about 4,500 Sri Lankan rupees ($23), in contrast with 30,000 rupees ($150) for an inexpensive wood one, Sahabandu stated. It can maintain as much as 100kg (220 kilos).

The coffins had been initially used principally for COVID-19 victims however have grow to be extra well-liked amongst these involved concerning the surroundings.

Some 350 cardboard coffins have been delivered since early 2020 and the manufacturing facility is engaged on one other 150 ordered by the council.

“The majority of the people in the country support this. The issue today is supplying it. We are working on that,” Sahabandu stated.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa introduced a complete lockdown on Friday for 10 days to curb a renewed surge in COVID-19 circumstances pushed by the unfold of the extremely transmissible Delta variant.

A employee carries a cardboard coffin to a truck on the manufacturing facility near Colombo [Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters]

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