Over 590 temples throughout Thailand are offering free cremation services for those who die from COVID-19, as the national death toll steadily rises, said Prime Minister’s Office Minister Anucha Nakasai today (Sunday).
These include 62 temples in Bangkok, 124 temples in and around the capital and 407 in the rest of the country.
Many temples in and around the capital are currently overwhelmed with cadavers waiting to be cremated and some crematoria have broken down or collapsed due to overheating.
Mr. Anucha said that several temples have offered space in their grounds for conversion into field hospitals or pre-admission facilities, to accommodate the infected before they are sent to general hospitals if their condition worsens.
118 such facilities on temple grounds are now ready to open.
The minister also said that the National Office of Buddhism has been instructed to supply these temples with protective PPE suits and disinfectants and to arrange for the vaccination of monks, undertakers and other temple staff.
This handout photo from the Royal Thai Army taken and released on May 16, 2021 shows military personnel in personal protective equipment (PPE) carrying a coffin of a victim of the Covid-19 coronavirus for cremation at a Buddhist temple in Nakhon Ratchasima, amid a surge in cases in Thailand of the virus. Handout / ROYAL THAI ARMY / AFP