Published On: Sat, Mar 28th, 2020

Spain coronavirus: Madrid bans wakes in heartbreaking rules as half of deaths hit capital | World | News

The ambitious “Ciudad de la Justicia” (“City of Justice”) never came to fruition because of a string of hold-ups and complications over the last 15 years. The only building completed was intended to house the Institute of Legal Medicine but it remains empty. Now, as Madrid’s own tally of coronavirus deaths hits 2,412, representing 49.6 percent of the country’s total, plans are being made for a second morgue as a spill-over from the Ice Palace in the capital’s centre which is also being used to store bodies.

It is expected to be ready in the next few days and is being described as “an exceptional and temporary measure to facilitate the work of the funeral services, mitigate the pain of the relatives of the victims and the situation that is being registered in the hospitals in the region. “

Officials say the building would be able to hold 200 corpses.

Minister of Justice, Interior and Victims, Enrique López said between 70 and 80 people are dying in the region and funeral homes are overwhelmed.

The news comes as Madrid puts a ban on all wakes, no matter what the cause of death, coronavirus or not.

Government officials say there is just not enough protection equipment to allow mourners the 24-hours of being with the body of their loved ones prior to cremation.

Strict instructions have been given on how corpses should be handled, either in special coffins or sealed sanitary bags which have to be sprayed with disinfectant.

Another option is to use a double plastic shroud that guarantees the handling and transfer of the corpses in a “safe way” and that, likewise, should be sprayed with disinfectant for hospital use or with the sodium hypochlorite solution.

“In both cases, once the body has been inserted into the coffin, it must be re-sprayed according to the procedure indicated above,” says the government.

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