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UK health officials: Swine flu could require mass graves

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User ID: 752224
United States
08/19/2009 07:40 PM
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UK health officials: Swine flu could require mass graves
[link to www.thisislondon.co.uk]

Mass graves could be used in autumn bout of swine flu
Kiran Randhawa

Preparations are under way to create mass graves to cope with a second outbreak of swine flu in the autumn.

The government plans, outlined in a Home Office document, warn that a burial site may need to be created to cope with the potential crisis.

The proposals, discussed at a meeting of Whitehall officials and council leaders last month, will affect those areas where there may not be enough graves for victims of the illness.

Within weeks of a full-blown pandemic, the number of burials could more than double and inner city areas “may experience a shortage of grave space”, according to the report.

The Framework for Planners Preparing to Manage Deaths — a 59-page document — discusses using “a grave that is for a number of unrelated persons, excavated mechanically in advance and designed for efficient preparation and use.”

It said this approach would create a “burial site for multiple graves and consecutive burials” but added there must still be “marking of the position of individual burials”.

It added that some cemeteries “may experience shortage of grave space, in particular in inner city areas”.

Freight containers and “inflatable” storage units may be needed to provide extra mortuary space. But it stated that “refrigerated vehicles and trailers should not be used”.

During the meeting, in which a senior official from Westminster council, gave a presentation, officials discussed the need for cemeteries and crematoriums to work seven days a week and the hiring of extra staff to cope.

The report also warned there may be a need for more “basic and shorter services at the chapel” or for “memorial services” to be held at a person's home instead.

Whitehall officials are also speaking to coffin makers to see if they could meet demands.

Retired doctors may also be called back to work to issue death certificates so GPs can focus on patients.

According to the document it may no longer be possible to bury some people in family plots and it may also become impossible to fly home the bodies of Britons who die abroad.

Meanwhile, NHS Blood and Transplant appealed to the public to give blood to avoid stocks being reduced over the autumn and winter as regular donors fall ill with swine flu. People cannot give blood when they have flu so it is important to keep the blood banks well stocked, it warned.

* London schoolgirl who almost died with swine flu while on holiday in Greece has left hospital. Natasha Newman, 16, from Highgate, spent six weeks in hospital in Athens after falling ill on a family trip to Cephalonia. She will return to Britain at the weekend.
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User ID: 751743
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08/20/2009 02:39 AM
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Re: UK health officials: Swine flu could require mass graves
Should we run out to get the jab wtf