The bodies of coronavirus victims in Hong Kong are being stored in refrigerated shipping containers as a deadly Omicron surge pushes morgues past capacity, harrowing photos show.
Photos obtained Wednesday by AFP show workers in full personal protective equipment putting corpses into a refrigerated container at a mortuary in Hong Kong, where more than 4,600 deaths and nearly 1 million infections have been tallied in the past three months.
The rising death toll has pushed local morgues to the brink and exhausted Hong Kong’s supply of coffins. Just 300 remain and those are expected to be depleted by this weekend, AFP reported.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said Wednesday two more shipments of coffins were expected to arrive from mainland China by sea.
Authorities have been trying to help families retrieve bodies of loved ones without having a death certificate issued by a physician, Lam said.
“We will try to find a way for the family to take the body back so that they can arrange the funeral soon,” Lam said at a press conference. “The crematoriums … have also been working day and night at full capacity.”
The workers in full PPE gear moved bodies covered in black tarps from a truck into rows of shipping containers outside Fu Shan Public Mortuary, photos show.
Researchers in Hong Kong estimate the virus has likely already infected half of its 7.4 million people. Many Chinese citizens have expressed outrage while claiming the rampant spread is due in part to Hong Kong’s poor pandemic response, AFP reported.