Negri exco trying to lower cost of funerals

SEREMBAN: Irked by some undertakers overcharging families for the final rites of those who died from Covid-19, a state executive councillor will assist in getting more funeral service providers to keep the cost affordable.

Non-Muslim affairs committee chairman J. Arul Kumar said some undertakers as well as crematoriums had been charging high rates.

“I was told that some funeral service providers are taking advantage of the situation and imposing ridiculously high rates.

“Some crematoriums are also charging higher. This is totally unacceptable and makes no sense,” he said in a Facebook post.

Arul has been in talks with several funeral service providers and they have agreed to charge “reasonable” rates.

He said some of those who overcharged claimed the cost was higher because the families must bear the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitisation work.

Arul said he was also in talks with several government agencies to supply free PPE to grieving families to help reduce the cost.

“Undertakers and crematoriums have no reason to charge more as the final rites and related religious ceremonies for Covid-19 victims are shorter than the usual practice,” he said.

He also dismissed claims by some undertakers that they had been appointed by the health authorities or a particular hospital.

“Families are free to select any funeral service provider based on what they can afford,” he said.

As of Tuesday, 585 people have died from Covid-19 complications in Negri Sembilan.

The state has also been registering a higher number of cases in recent weeks due to increased targeted screenings.

A total of 970 cases were reported on July 20, 1,340 (July 19), 771 (July 18), 1,280 (July 17) and 1,619 (July 16).

The total number of cases stands at 63,339, with 10,251 people still receiving treatment at various facilities.

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