UK opens field morgues to tackle deadly second wave


He The UK is being hit hard by the variant of covid-19 considered more contagious and that caused cases and deaths to skyrocket. This situation has put hospitals under great pressure, both their intensive care units and their morgues.

The Epsom makeshift morgue in Surrey county, southwest of London, houses 170 bodies, more than half of them victims of COVID-19, according to the City Council.

In the coming weeks and despite having 1,400 temporary positions, the county would be in “serious trouble” if the number were to increase, warned a spokesman for the Surrey Local Resilience Forum, created to coordinate the response of local authorities to the pandemic..

Last March, when this morgue was installed in a rehabilitation center, in 12 weeks 700 bodies passed through there. Compared, “Since December 21, after just two and a half weeks, 300 bodies had passed through” for this temporary morgue, the spokesperson stated.

The situation led to the installation of a new temporary morgue near the Breakspear crematorium in north-west London to “complete the existing capacity”, a spokesman for local authorities said. However, it is not yet operational.

For now, in the capital, during this second wave they have not yet had to resort to the other provisional morgues enabled at the beginning of the pandemic, the spokesperson recalled. “London morgues stand up and cooperate with each other to ease localized pressures, and funerals continue to be organized throughout the capital,” the spokesman explained.

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morgues uk

Last Friday 1,325 deaths were registered in 24 hours, something never seen since the pandemic began.

Deborah Smith, spokesperson for a funeral home association, the National Funeral Directors AssociationHe said that the country was discussing whether to use temporary deposits or not.

As he explained, his sector has to tackling three challenges: rising deaths due to covid-19, death rates, which are generally higher in winter, and the likelihood of employees getting sick. “The numbers are higher, the feeling of uncertainty, too,” Smith said. “We don’t know how long the numbers will continue to rise before they decline again.”

Siraj Qazi, director of the Ghousia Funeral Service, a mortuary for the Muslim community in Luton, 20 miles north of London, noted a “massive influx” in recent weeks. “We conduct burials every day and the deaths that we are currently dealing with are mainly linked to covid,” he stated.

Today’s levels are close to those of March and April, when the first wave peaked and your company was almost overwhelmed.

The United Kingdom is the country in Europe hardest hit by the pandemic, with almost 82,000 deaths, and its health services are preparing for the “worst weeks of the pandemic”, warned England’s chief physician Chris Whitty.

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