There were no burials during a seven-day period in the Muslim section at Blackburn's Pleasington Cemtery for the first time since September.

Members of the Blackburn Muslim Burial Society (BMBS) shared the positive news. It comes after a winter period when volunteers were involved in up to four burials a day at Pleasington Cemetery with 206 burials taking place in just five months.

The last time there were no burials in the Muslim section of the cemetery for seven straight days was back in September between 8th and 15th. During that month there were 11 burials which was two less than during the same month in 2019. BMBS said the death rate during the summer months (June, July and August) was similar to that of 2019.

In October there were 29 burials in the Muslim section and this rose to 54 during the month of November. During December there were 35 burials (16 Covid related) in the Muslim section and in January this rose to 48 (26 Covid related). In February there were 40 burials in the same section.

A BMBS spokesperson said: “This is only the second time since the pandemic began we have had no burials for a full seven day period. This has been most positive news we have had in recent months.

“This may have been due to the vaccine roll out and we urge everyone to support the vaccination campaign.

“We will continue to support and assist all families during bereavements.”

Since February 26 two more deaths were announced both coming within the past four days. These burials took place on Sunday March 7 and Monday March 8.

In Islamic culture the burial must take place within the shortest period of time. In the majority of cases burials have taken place within 24 hours. In some cases people are being buried within four hours of death.

Blackburn and Darwen have one of the largest number of volunteers in the area who are on call 24 hours a day. The Blackburn Muslim Burial Society (BMBS) teams conduct the ghusl (washing of the body), cleaning of the ghusl area, provide drivers and the burial itself.