Advocacy to keep death registration system online after covid

A funeral director is calling on the government to allow grieving families to continue registering the deaths of loved ones online after the system expires at the end of the month. Former councilor Mohammed Ishtiaq has collected almost 2,000 names on a petition imploring the authorities to give people the option in the future.

Before the coronavirus, death registrations were made by the next of kin in person. This has been posted to reduce physical contact during the pandemic in accordance with the Coronavirus Act 2020.

Mr Ishtiaq said the online system was faster and easier for families during the grieving process. It was also important for those of Muslim or Jewish faith who could perform their religious funeral rites.

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Online death registration is due to expire at the end of March. Mr Ishtiaq, of Hall Green, runs Sparkbrook-based Al Akhirah Funeral Service and is calling for the system to be maintained.

He said: “It’s easier when someone’s loved one has died to go online and register and they can continue the grieving process. I lost my mum to of covid in september 2020.

“If they turn around and say families have a choice, give them a choice.” The petition is due to be presented to a full council meeting on Tuesday and to parliament at a later date.

Councilor Majid Mahmood (Bromford and Hodge Hill) said: “During the pandemic, legislation has allowed death registrations to be carried out without the need for a face-to-face meeting. Not only has this speeded up burials, it which is important to many citizens in town, the process is much more manageable for families during one of the most difficult times in their lives.

“I sincerely hope the government will listen and allow us to register deaths online with a face-to-face meeting option if needed.”

Birmingham City Council has been contacted for comment.

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