Hundreds of coronavirus patients in New York died in the spring, and the bodies are still piled up in the refrigerator
New York City once became the “hardest hit area” of the coronavirus epidemic in the United States. This spring, due to the surge in confirmed cases and deaths, the city had to use refrigerated trucks as “mobile morgues”.
However, in the Brooklyn area of New York City, the bodies of hundreds of coronavirus patients who died in the spring are still stored in refrigerated vehicles, according to the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal on November 22.
The Chief Medical Prosecutor’s Office of New York City revealed on the 22nd that in April this year, the city built an emergency temporary morgue in the dock warehouse near Sunset Park. Now about 650 bodies are stored in multiple refrigerated trucks in the morgue. Most of these dead are not claimed by their families, or the families cannot afford the funeral expenses.
The report pointed out that even if New York City has a funeral subsidy and the cost has increased from $900 in May this year to $1,700, according to the data of the New York State Funeral Association, the average cost of traditional funerals in the state is $9,000. The organization said that the cost of a typical cremation service is about $6,500, which is still a big number for families in need in New York.
Screenshots of the Wall Street Journal report
A security guard near the above-mentioned morgue told the New York Post that he often saw vehicles entering and leaving the morgue. “A few cars came this morning… They came almost every day.” Another person who has worked nearby for many years said that it has been vacant for a long time before the coronavirus outbreak reopened. The person said he knew that it would be used to store corpses, because after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a large number of victims were also temporarily placed here.
A spokesman for the New York City Chief Medical Office said that the body storage facilities will continue to operate until the end of the coronavirus pandemic. The spokesman said that the number of bodies in the refrigerated truck is actually slowly declining, and the number of bodies decreased from 698 to 650 from mid-September to mid-November.
During the spring, many unclaimed remains of the coronavirus deaths in New York City were sent to a sparsely populated and notorious island, Hart Island, to be buried centrally. According to public information, when the Spanish flu broke out in 1918, the New York City government also buried the bodies of the victims on this unmanned island. For its special historical reasons, people will be buried on the island as a disgrace. However, the Wall Street Journal said that after reports of the burial of coronavirus deaths on Hart Island appeared, New York Mayor de Blasio said that there would be no mass burial in temporary graves.
In the early stage of the outbreak of the epidemic in the United States, New York City once became the “hardest hit area” of the epidemic in the United States. According to the epidemic data of the New York Times, April this year was the most severe period of the epidemic in New York City, with more than 4,000 new cases per day and frequently hitting new highs. With the sharp increase in confirmed cases, the city’s death toll also peaked in April, with the number of deaths exceeding 800 in a single day.
And the pressure of the epidemic has caused a serious shortage of space in New York City’s morgue, and the city has to start to use refrigerated trucks to store the bodies of coronavirus patients.
But scandals about refrigerated trucks continue to be exposed by the media: in April this year, CNN revealed that police found dozens of decayed bodies in two stench trucks outside a funeral home on Utica Avenue in Brooklyn. In May this year, Fox News reported that some refrigerated trucks containing corpses in the United States were still used to transport food.
However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that the refrigerated trucks used to store corpses during the coronavirus epidemic can be used for food transportation after thorough disinfection and cleaning.