Employees construct what is thought to be a makeshift morgue supporting a hospital during the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New York, March 25, 2020.
Carlo Allegri | Reuters
New York, Hawaii and North Carolina have asked emergency mortuary assistance from FEMA to deal with the forthcoming deaths expected from coronavirus as the pandemic bears down on america.
A spokesperson for the Federal Emergency Management Agency confirmed the petition in a statement on Wednesday. The requests are currently under review and haven’t yet been accepted, the spokesperson said.
The requests are for HHS Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Teams, or DMORT, which “work to quickly and accurately identify victims and support local mortuary services,” based on a government site .
Global deaths from COVID-19 have surged past 20,000, with the worst outbreaks continued to change west from China through Europe and shortly expected from the U.S.. There have been 809 deaths from the disease in the U.S., based on data from Johns Hopkins University.
In the U.S., the death toll was mostly concentrated in New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo has warned of a looming shortage of ventilators and hospital beds. There are 17,856 confirmed coronavirus cases in nyc, with nearly 200 dead so far, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Hawaii and North Carolina have endured few deaths from COVID-19 thus far. After announcing its first death from the disease, Hawaii’s Department of Health backtracked on Tuesday and said the test results were misread and the individual didn’t die of coronavirus, based on HawaiiNewsNow. Health authorities in North Carolina reported that the first deaths from coronavirus from the country on Wednesday.
Politico reported Wednesday the Department of Homeland Security was briefed that New York City’s morgues were nearing capacity, citing a DHS official and another source familiar with the issue. The New York Post reported Tuesday that a makeshift morgue was being installed at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, citing a source who had been familiar with the surgery.
Some countries in Europe have had to make improvised morgues. Government in Spain have turned into an Olympic-sized ice rink in the country’s capital of Madrid, according to Reuters.