A council says it will be working in partnership with mosques and partners to comply with Covid-19 burial regulations.

Blackburn with Darwen Council says it will be working alongside the Blackburn Muslim Burial Society and Lancashire Council of Mosques to ensure all Islamic and Covid-19 requirements are met as sympathetically as possible.

A statement released yesterday said, "To help, and for the safety of our residents, we ask that in the current climate, all practical Muslim funeral rites and burials are carried out by the Blackburn Muslim Burial Society only and not done by individual Mosques or Islamic organisations.

"This will help ensure Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) resources are effectively used and that Covid-19 safety requirements are met by volunteers.

"Our partnership approach will also help protect the health and safety of our volunteers who will be undertaking ghusl, shrouding and burial activity and one of our priorities is sourcing the right PPE clothing and equipment.

"To help support our Muslim community, it is important to ensure we have a single point for information that is up to date, trustworthy, consistent and accurate.

"Imran Patel from the Blackburn Muslim Burial Society has been nominated by the group to help lead the work with Mosques. Imran’s priority is to ensure that we can continue to support the burials from the Muslim community throughout this period. Imran can be contacted directly on 07703 228796."

It adds, "We know a number of WhatsApp groups have been disseminating posts to a wide circulation that are not based on fact. This has caused many elderly and vulnerable people to experience days of anxiety. If you or your Mosque has WhatsApp groups, we would find it helpful if messages could be moderated and challenged.

"Please be assured we are working hard on behalf of the Muslim community in Blackburn with Darwen and talking to people at the highest level to help inform and influence.

"Finally we will ensure Islamic and Covid-19 requirements are met as sympathetically as possible as this is of paramount importance and our key priority."