As morgues overflow, New York struggles with Covid-19 dead

Refrigerator trucks parked outside hospital doors, overwhelmed undertakers, and talk about temporary burials in parks: America's coronavirus epicentre of New York is grappling with how to deal with the dead, SIA reports referring to foreign media.

As the Big Apple's death toll from Covid-19 soared to 3,485 Monday, images of bodies covered in sheets being transported on stretchers by health workers in protective suits are a common sight outside hospitals. The trucks are storing bodies that are accumulating too quickly for funeral directors to pick them up directly from hospitals.

On Monday morning, AFP saw nine bodies loaded into trucks outside Wyckoff Hospital in Brooklyn. Several undertakers interviewed by AFP said they were struggling to deal with New York state's coronavirus death toll of more than 500 a day.

Between Friday and Saturday, a high of 630 deaths were recorded. "The majority of funeral homes do not have refrigeration or (have) limited refrigeration," said Ken Brewster, owner of Crowe's Funeral Homes in Queens. "If you don't have the space... you need those trucks," added Brewster, whose small business has been bombarded with requests for funeral services for Covid-19 patients over the past week.

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