The State already exceeds Spain in the total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19
The huge mass grave opened for victims of Covid-19 on the island of Hart, in New York, this Thursday. On video, aerial images of the pit.
On Hart Island, east of the Bronx, New Yorkers have died since the nineteenth century without being claimed. They are buried by poorly paid inmates, as it is the Department of Prisons that runs this public cemetery. Normally, 25 bodies are buried on average a week. But now, since New York has become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, it is those same 25 corpses, but every day.
This has led to the decision to dig two new graves “in case they are needed”, as confirmed in The New York Times a spokeswoman for the Department of Prisons. Additionally, a Covid-19 outbreak in the city’s main jail has forced more workers to be hired to perform the jobs.
New York is today one of the global epicenters of the pandemic. On Friday morning the number of confirmed cases in the State (19.5 million inhabitants) reached 159,937, already exceeding the total number of cases in all of Spain (157,022 confirmed cases, 46.9 million inhabitants). The total of deaths in the State this Friday was 7,067. In the last three days, more than 700 deaths with Covid-19 have been registered in the State alone, most of them in New York City.
On Hart Island, the bodies of the dead are wrapped in body bags and placed inside a pine wood box, in which the name of the deceased is written, to facilitate the work in case someone claims the body after being buried. The boxes are buried in long open trenches in a straight line in the ground. There are more than a million people buried on the 53 hectare island.
Normally a body is transferred from the morgue to Hart Island if it has not been claimed by anyone in a month or two. But now, given the increase in deaths, the deadlines have been shortened, and the bodies are sent if no one has been contacted from the morgue in two weeks.
The authorities also plan the possible use of the island for temporary burials in the event that the death toll from the coronavirus exceeds the capacity of the city’s morgues, something that has not yet happened. “If we need to make temporary burials to get through the crisis, and then work with each family for the appropriate arrangements, we have the capacity to do it. We can make temporary burials to talk to each family afterward, ”Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday. If it had to be done, according to a mayor’s spokesman, it would be done on Hart Island. The coroner’s office can store between 800 and 900 bodies in its premises, according to the Times, and it has additional space for 4,000 more in fifty refrigerated trucks that they have sent to hospitals, which usually have small morgues.
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