Are regions of the world now in conflict ready for mass casualties from COVID-19?

COVID-19 emergency response should include considerations for those who die from the disease.

Every effort should be made to ensure the timely, dignified and proper burial of the dead.

Our fear is that unless there are plans in place for how to manage the dead, bodies could be hastily disposed of in unmarked graves.

For a mourning family, this means not having the closure of a burial, or place to visit and grieve.

Our guidelines suggest that each body should be allotted 2.07m² of space.

This means that if 50,000 people die of COVID-19, a space equivalent to 14.5 football fields is needed.

If 100,000 people die of COVID-19 this would mean a space equivalent to 793 tennis courts is needed.

If 250,000 people die of COVID-19 a space equivalent to the size of Vatican City is needed.

Land is a finite resource. With most COVID-19 cases and deaths happening in cities, places to bury the dead will be hard to come by.

This makes planning for how COVID-19 deaths will be handled safely and with dignity all the more important, out respect for the lives lost and the loved ones they leave behind.

We need to support them to be able to face yet another threat to lives in war-torn countries.