A FUNERAL service provider is recruiting for staff to prepare for more deaths from coronavirus.

A spokesman for Co-op Funeralcare, which has a branch in Lowesmoor, Worcester, said: “Everyone here is committed to supporting communities through a time of loss. Each and every colleague is dedicated to helping our bereaved clients through the most devastating time of their lives.

“In these incredibly difficult and unprecedented times, our focus is on being able to confidently maintain the highest standards of care and compassion that people expect.

“We are recruiting for temporary roles across our funeral care division to ensure that our colleagues and clients remain fully supported in the weeks and months ahead.”

However, a spokesman for AV Band Funeral Directors in St Nicholas Street Worcester, who are owned by Dignity, said: “Coronavirus is a rapidly-changing situation but at the moment the business is operating as usual.

“The funeral industry had far more deaths during this time in 2018 due to flu.

“The length of time we can keep a diseased body on site is the same during the pandemic so that’s not changed, or the time to burial, but we maintain social distancing and wear personal protective equipment to keep everyone safe if a person has been confirmed to have had the virus.”

Figures released by the NHS show that a further 561 people who tested positive for the coronavirus have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 2,698.

Globally there have been 961,749 confirmed cases of coronavirus, 49,165 people have died and 203,190 people have recovered from the virus.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said testing was “massively increasing” and it was “the way through” the pandemic.

Earlier this month health chiefs confirmed a city community hospital is earmarked as a coronavirus isolation facility.

Worcester City Inpatient Unit, in Timberdine Close has been chosen as there are many individual rooms to segregate patients.

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