WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- New York City deploys contingency plans amidst the rising number of casualties due to the coronavirus outbreak.
- Deployment of refrigerated trailers as makeshift morgues was last seen after September 11, 2001 incident.
- At least 281 people died in NYC because of the coronavirus, and no less than 21,873 tested positive with the virus.
On Thursday, New York City deploys chilled trailers to serve as temporary morgues placed adjacent from two hospitals as the city faces mounting death cases due to the coronavirus outbreak. NYC has become the epicenter of the nation’s health crisis.
New York was last seen taking similar extreme measures after the 9/11 terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center, which claimed the lives of 2,753 people.
The temporary morgue facilities indicate that the worse has yet come in the current national health crisis.
NYC mayor, Bill De Blasio, announced on Thursday that there are at least 281 COVID-19 related deaths recorded in the city, and 21,873 individuals are tested positive with the virus.
Up the state of New York, 385 people have already died due to the coronavirus which comprises almost 50 percent of the country’s 80,000 cases with a count of 37,000.
As of today, the death count from the coronavirus in the U.S has already exceeded 1,100.
Executive Director for the Office of Public Affairs (OPA), Aja Worthy-Davis, said no less than 13 patients have expired from coronavirus over only 24 hours this week at Queen’s Elmhurst Hospital, where the medical examiner’s office installed a refrigerated trailer.
Makeshift medical stations are also put up next to the New York Bellevue Hospital Center, nearby medical examiner’s headquarters.
Davis noted, though, that the refrigerated trailers are not mainly meant for the coronavirus cases as the provisional facilities are there to ease up morgue space at hospitals if necessary.
The Office of Emergency Management owns the trailers deployed at the two hospitals.
In a statement, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) said it adheres to the state of an emergency call by the government, and its agency has contingency measures in place to be ready for all possible scenarios.
Meanwhile, the office of the medical examiner has 45 more large trucks ready for use, and OCME trailers have not been utilized so far, Davis further said.
Davis also explained that its agency has trucks that can accommodate more than hospitals; its trailers and mobile tents can cover 3,500 up to 3,600 bodies.
At present, the city can only accommodate around 900 bodies in morgues in all five areas, plus extension at some other locations.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confirmed that it has received and reviewing requests for assistance on mortuary operations from states including New York, Hawaii, and North Carolina.