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Family hold funeral for Walsall coronavirus victim Basharat Hussain

By Gurdip Thandi | Walsall | Coronavirus | Published:

Heartbroken relatives of a Walsall coronavirus victim bid a fond farewell to him in a quiet funeral service.

Basharat Hussain

Basharat Hussain, who lived in the Pleck area of the town, died at Heartlands Hospital on Wednesday following a battle against Covid-19.

Had the current safety restrictions not been in place, around 1,000 people would have been expected to attend the memorial service for the 66-year-old father-of-seven.

Instead, 15 close family and friends were in attendance at Streetly Crematorium.

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An Imam led the funeral prayers while mourners stood in line observing strict social distancing rules.

Mohammed Arif, interim chairman of the Union of Muslim Organisations (UMO) and who was a close friend of Mr Hussain, said council officers granted permission for a small increase in attendance numbers providing.

Close family say farewell to Walsall coronavirus victim Basharat Hussain at Streetly Crematorium. Photo: Mohammed Arif

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He said: “We want to thank people for co-operating with the wishes of the family by staying at home.

“On behalf of UMO, we wish to thank Bereavement Services for relaxing the minimum number rules to help the immediate family members to attend the funeral.

“We also want to extend our thanks to Mortuary staff at Walsall Manor for their co-operation and guidance.”

In the aftermath of Mr Hussain’s death, former Walsall councillor Mr Arif said his family wanted to send a message to people to abide by the Government’s strict rules to combat coronavirus.

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He said: “Basharat was a true gentleman, a very quiet man and had been a regular member of the congregation at Birchills Mosque.

“Basharat was the opening bowler for my cricket team in the late 1975 onwards. He had a bypass operation several years ago.

“We had all been praying for him to pull through but his condition deteriorated and the he was unable to fight the Covid-19.

“The family does not want others to go through the same grief.”

Gurdip Thandi

By Gurdip Thandi
@Gurdo

Local Democracy Reporter covering Walsall.

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