Sh. Abdur Rahman Khan
It should be noted that washing the deceased is among the Fardh-Kifaayah (communal obligation) for Muslims. It is for the Ghaasil (one washing the body) to use every protective means to make sure he is not affected by the washing the deceased.
He will have to wear complete protective gear that covers from head to toe including face covering, the likes of which we see the cleaners wear when there is dangerous chemical spill. This would be for everyone who participates in washing or touching the deceased.
If they can obtain the proper gears to do the Ghusl of the deceased then they proceed to do Ghusl of the body as normal. If not, there are a few options in the following sequence:
1. Despite all precautions if the ones washing the deceased fear they can get the virus, then washing the body with water would be sufficient. That is spraying water on the deceased and that would be sufficient.
2. If this is also too dangerous then a Tayammum can be done which is touching the ground with gloves and wipe the face and the hands up to the elbow.
3. Even if this poses threat of the virus then the body is wrapped without any of the above; no Ghusl and no Tayammum and Salaatul Janaazah is performed.
4. Burial would be done taking all necessary precautions as well and should be done as soon as possible.
The idea here is that every effort must be made to stop the spread of the virus. This Hukm (method) follows if the deceased is deteriorating or his body becomes impossible to touch.
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