My Lords, my noble friend the Minister referred to the fact that the number of deaths that have occurred as a result of coronavirus stand at 18,738. The BAME community represents about 14% of the UK population, but unfortunately accounts for about 35% of all coronavirus patients in intensive care. The number of people in the BAME community who have contracted coronavirus and died as result is disproportionately high.
My noble friend might perhaps recall that I talked about the burial of Muslims when the Coronavirus Bill was discussed in your Lordships’ House. The Muslim community has got together, and burials are taking place in very difficult circumstances. However, I have been told by leaders of the community that the availability of land for burials should be kept under review and that a system should be provided if the land issue becomes a major problem and burials cannot take place. Secondly, the Government should consider providing additional funds to local authorities, which are dealing with very difficult circumstances. They are stretched to the limit and need additional resources for burials and cremations. Will the Minister comment on those two points?