Satellite images obtained by an international news network reveal Iran has been rapidly expanding a major cemetery in Qom, the area worst hit by the country’s coronavirus outbreak.
The country has reported at least 10,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 429 deaths, the third-highest number of cases in the world after mainland China and Italy.
The satellite images from March 1 and March 8, put out by Maxar Technologies, appear to show an increase in activity inside a cemetery in Qom.
According to Islamic tradition, bodies are supposed to be buried quickly after death. But the cemetery morgue director said burials were being delayed as testing for the virus takes time. And while corpses are traditionally washed with soap and water before burial in Iran, two medical workers said that in some cases precautions related to the outbreak are preventing staff from observing traditional Islamic guidelines for burial.