In response to religious questions regarding the funeral rites for people who have passed away due to an infectious disease such as coronavirus in different parts of the world, please take note of the ruling below from his eminence Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Sistani.
We ask God, the Exalted, with His kindness and generosity to heal those who are infected with this virus and bless them with good health, and may His mercy be bestowed upon the deceased and patience and reward bestowed on their families and loved ones.
Question: What is the ruling on washing, shrouding, and burying the body of a dead person if the cause of death is an infectious virus (or other contagious pathogen) that requires caution and avoidance according to the religious edicts of his eminence Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Sistani (may God prolong his life).
Answer: Any act that poses harm to the person who undertakes the preparation of the deceased [under such circumstances] is revoked. However, if it is possible to perform tayammum on the deceased, albeit wearing gloves, and shroud the body, even if with a plastic cover, it must be done. The funeral prayer and burial should be performed as required thereafter.