Breaking: NYC Health Committee Chairman Braces Residents for ‘Temporary Burials’ in City Parks Due to Limited Morgue Space
New York City councilman Mark D. Levine, chairman of the city council’s health committee, on Monday braced residents for the prospect of “temporary burials” of coronavirus victims due to the city’s limited morgue capacity.
The city’s morgues are “now dealing w/ the equivalent of an ongoing 9/11….Every part of this system is now backed up,” Levine wrote on Twitter.
“Soon we’ll start ‘temporary interment.’ This likely will be done by using a NYC park for burials (yes you read that right). Trenches will be dug for 10 caskets in a line,” Levine went on. “It will be done in a dignified, orderly–and temporary–manner. But it will be tough for NYers to take.”
Soon we'll start "temporary interment". This likely will be done by using a NYC park for burials (yes you read that right). Trenches will be dug for 10 caskets in a line.
It will be done in a dignified, orderly–and temporary–manner. But it will be tough for NYers to take. 9/
— Mark D. Levine (@MarkLevineNYC) April 6, 2020
The councilman explained, “The goal is to avoid scenes like those in Italy, where the military was forced to collect bodies from churches and even off the streets.” In Bergamo, Italy, residents have filmed military convoys removing bodies from the town. The country saw one of the worst outbreaks of coronavirus in the world, with almost 129,000 cases and 15,887 deaths as of Monday.
“There will be delays [in burial] because of the sheer magnitude of this crisis,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters when asked about temporary burials. “We will have the capacity to do temporary burials, that is all I'm going to say.”
New York City has reported 67,551 cases of coronavirus with 3,048 deaths since the outbreak began. Due to limitations on space in morgues in the city, medical agencies have moved refrigerated trucks to hospitals to house the bodies of victims. The Defense Department on Friday announced it would help city agencies coordinate mortuary processes.