In response to a surge in the number of deaths in the New York city,, officials hired laborers wearing hazmat suits were seen burying caskets in a mass grave on city Hart Island.
The new trenches for mass graves is an uninhabited island in the Bronx that has been used to bury New Yorkers with no known next of kin or whose family are unable to arrange a funeral since the 19th century.
Typically, about 25 bodies are buried there once a week byRikers Island jail inmates. That number began increasing last month as the new Coronavirus spread rapidly and New York became the epicenter of the pandemic.
Officials said they had no choice but to bury COVID-19 patients at the city’s cemetery as it deals with the mounting coronavirus death toll and dwindling morgue space.
Under a new policy, the medical examiner’s office will keep bodies in storage for just 14 days before they’re buried in the city’s potter’s field on Hart Island.
To deal with the influx of bodies, New York has been using a fleet of freezer trucks as temporary storage
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio indicated earlier this week that “temporary burials” might be necessary until the crisis had passed.
The state’s confirmed caseload of Covid-19 is nearly 162,000, of whom 7,844 have died.
The US as a whole has recorded 467,000 cases and about 16,700 deaths. Globally there are 1.6 million cases and 97,000 deaths.