Europe

Spain turns ice rink into a morgue as coronavirus deaths pile up

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Bodies of people who have died of Covid-19 are now being transported by the country's emergency military unit to the Palacio de Hielo, or Ice Palace, in Madrid's Hortaleza neighborhood, the Madrid regional president's office told CNN on Tuesday. The regional government said this was 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."Spain has the fourth highest number of confirmed cases worldwide — after China, Italy and the US — and the third highest number of deaths. The country has confirmed 39,673 cases and 2,696 deaths, the prime minister's office said Tuesday. The Madrid municipal funeral service, a major provider in the city, announced in a statement on Monday it would stop collecting the bodies of Covid-19 victims, because its workers don't have sufficient protective material. The service manages 14 cemeteries, two funeral parlors and two crematoriums in Madrid.The funeral service said that cremations, burials and other services for coronavirus victims would continue as normal, but only if the bodies are "sent by other funeral services businesses in a closed coffin."Madrid is one of the epicenters of the epidemics in Spain. The president of the Madrid region, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, said last week that the city expects 80% of its population to get Covid-19. "They will have mild symptoms," she told a local radio, but added that the illness will be a problem for the city's vulnerable population, which is around 15% of people.Members of the Spanish army's military emergency unit disinfect the Palacio de Hielo.Spain has been locked down and in a state of emergency since Friday March 13. The period was initially expected to last 15 days, but Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Sunday that the state of emergency could be extended for further 14 days. The parliament will debate the motion on Read More – Source