Western Cape building a 'mass-fatality facility' for Covid-19 corpses

(Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images via Getty Images)
(Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images via Getty Images)
Darren Stewart
  • Urgent construction to prepare for the dead during the Covid-19 "peak" is under way.
  • The site will be able to refrigerate up to 770 bodies at a time.
  • The location is in the Tygerberg Hospital precinct, where a large field hospital has also been built.

Cape Town will soon have a "Mass-Fatality Temporary Facility" to refrigerate and store hundreds of patients who succumb to Covid-19.

This was announced on Thursday by the Western Cape provincial government, which is building the site in partnership with the City of Cape Town.

The makeshift morgue will be able to hold up to 770 dead bodies - at full capacity - and will be located at the Tygerberg Hospital's sprawling estate in Cape Town's northern suburbs.

"The facility will include offices, 12 refrigerated containers and the required sewer and electrical services to operationalise the facility," reported Dr Saadiq Kariem, chief of operations at the provincial health department.

The health authorities hope to have the facility ready "in the first week of July", which is estimated to be the second week of the Covid-19 "peak".

Premier Alan Winde said they had been preparing for the "peak" - and this mass-storage facility was part of ongoing preparations across the province.

Already on-site at Tygerberg is a massive temporary field hospital, the first of many constructed across the province. 

The provincial government has also announced it has been working closely with funeral parlours and religious organisations, in preparation for an anticipated spike in deaths. 

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