California dispatches dozens of trailers as temporary morgues | Daily News

California dispatches dozens of trailers as temporary morgues

A body wrapped in plastic is loaded onto a refrigerated container truck used as a temporary morgue by medical workers wearing personal protective equipment due to COVID-19 concerns.
A body wrapped in plastic is loaded onto a refrigerated container truck used as a temporary morgue by medical workers wearing personal protective equipment due to COVID-19 concerns.

US: California has distributed at least 166 refrigerated trailers to be used as temporary morgues by overwhelmed hospitals facing record Covid-related deaths, officials said Thursday.

The state is reeling from coronavirus, with almost 2,500 deaths last week -- far more than any other US state -- and many hospital morgues now full.

Cases began spiking even before Thanksgiving gatherings spread the virus faster, and California is bracing for a “surge on top of a surge” driven in part by Christmas and New Year festivities.

Mark Ghilarducci, the state’s emergency services director, said the “mass fatality management plan” would mean backed-up dead bodies can be “dealt with respect and dignity.”

The plan was announced after studies of hospitalization data predicted “the severity of a surge in COVID-19-related fatalities that will only add to the existing normal rate of non-COVID deaths,” a statement said.

Most California regions including Los Angeles -- where ambulances have been turned away from hospitals -- are under a state-mandated “stay-at-home order.”Los Angeles hospitals are so overwhelmed that ambulance workers have been told to stop transporting some patients with extremely low survival chances.

- AFP