AmericaIn the Covid-19 hotspot in Southern California, funeral homes were forced to turn down patient families because there were no vacancies.
The Association of Funeral Homes says overcrowding is occurring in most morgues, as the death toll from Covid-19 has reached 360,000 and continues to rise.
Magda Maldonado, director of the Continental Funeral Home in Los Angeles, said: “I’ve been in the funeral industry for 40 years and never thought this could happen, when I had to tell a family that ‘They are I can’t take in more bodies. ”
Currently, on average a day, this facility has to process 30 bodies, 6 times the normal frequency. Funeral directors were forced to contact each other to find other places to help them share their work, but received the same answer: “We can’t take any more”.
To deal with this, Maldonado rented additional 15-meter freezers for two of the four facilities she operates in Los Angeles and the surrounding states. Continental was also forced to delay shipping the body from hospital by a day or two due to the need to negotiate with local clients in advance.
Bob Achermann, executive director of the California Funeral House Directors Association, said the overall process of obtaining death certificates, handling corpses, burial, and cremation has been slow. Usually cremation takes place within a day or two, but now takes at least a week or even longer.
“The workload is huge and the funeral homes are afraid they won’t be able to keep up. The worst is still ahead,” Achermann said.
According to data from John Hopkins University, in the first week of 2021, the United States recorded an average of 2,637 Covid-19 deaths per day, which means one person dies every 33 seconds. Attempts to vaccinate 20 million people by the end of 2020 have failed, and the US faces a major challenge in fighting the epidemic.
December 2020 is considered the deadliest month in America since the virus broke out, with more than 77,000 people dead. The deaths are expected to increase in the coming time, as the number of patients hospitalized is higher.
Thuc Linh (According to the AP)