Spain forced to transform ice rink into morgue as nation's death toll hits 2,696

Spain forced to transform ice rink into morgue as nation's death toll hits 2,696

Spain has been forced to transform an ice rink into a temporary morgue as the nation's death toll continues to climb. As of this writing, John Hopkins University states that the death toll in Spain as a result of COVID-19 has now hit 2,696.

The Madrid regional president's office told CNN on Tuesday that the number of dead have overwhelmed the country's traditional funeral industry, who are unable to dispose of them safely.

Now, the bodies of coronavirus victims are being transported by the country's emergency military unit to the Palacio de Hielo, or Ice Palace, in Madrid's Hortaleza neighborhood.

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According to the regional government, the ice rink morgue is a "temporary and extraordinary measure" designed to "lessen the pain of the families of the victims and the situation that's being recorded in Madrid's hospitals."

On Monday, Madrid municipal funeral service, one of the city's biggest providers, said that it would stop collecting the bodies of coronavirus victims because its workers did not have sufficient protective gear to dispose of them safely, per CNN.

Madrid municipal funeral service manages 14 cemeteries, two funeral parlors and two crematoriums in the city. The provider, however, said that it would conduct funerals for coronavirus victims providing that the bodies are "sent by other funeral services businesses in a closed coffin."

Spain, which is currently under lockdown, has the fourth-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases of any nation the world. The highest is China, followed by Italy and then the US.

This news comes as John Hopkins University reports that there have been a total of 395,647 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally and 17,241 deaths at the time of writing.

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