German cemetery stores COVID-19 dead as hospital mortuaries fill up - Metro US

German cemetery stores COVID-19 dead as hospital mortuaries fill up

A freezer container is set up at the cemetery crematorium as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues in Hanau

HANAU, Germany (Reuters) – A cemetery in the German city of Hanau has started to temporarily store the bodies of people who have died from COVID-19 in a metal shipping container because hospital mortuaries are already full.

“Unfortunately the situation in Hanau has changed so much that we now need to make use of containers that we have had here since April, initially as a precaution,” said Alexandra Kinski, head of cemeteries and crematoriums in Hanau, near Germany’s financial hub Frankfurt.

She said two corpses were already being stored in the metal container, which has space for 25 bodies, adding people are only kept there for a short time after dying.

“If a person passes away and there is no space in the clinic then they come here and stay for a short while until the deceased is taken to a final resting place, for example here in the cemetery,” she said.

Germany, which was praised for its handling of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic in the spring, entered a strict lockdown on Wednesday as infections and deaths soar in a second wave.

With the number of cases in Germany topping 1.4 million and more than 24,000 people having died of COVID-19, worries are mounting that hospitals will fail to cope.

(Reporting by Reuters Television; Writing by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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