The public health Directorate of Montréal plans to install temporary morgues if the number of victims of the COVID-19 continues to increase.
This scenario is the worst considered by public health in its contingency plan obtained by our Bureau of investigation. It will be necessary if we account for more than 65 deaths per day, that 100% of the morgues of the hospitals are busy, just like 75 % of the seats in the funeral home.
Thus, the City of Montreal may be required to provide health facilities in one or more places, ” alternative “, to ensure that the storage of the bodies of the deceased.
“In the event of an overflow of their capacity, each individual funeral home could ensure the management of human remains in the alternative venues available to these businesses by the City of Montréal “, one can read in the plan.
In some countries, such as Italy or Spain, the arenas have been used to store the body. For the time being, hospitals, and funeral homes have instead used refrigerated containers which have been installed in the vicinity of the institutions.
In normal times, there are about 40 deaths per day in the metropolis, but the pandemic has pushed this number.
This week only, there were more than 400 deaths related to the COVID-19 in Montreal, nearly 60 per day. All this, without counting deaths due to other causes.
The Montreal public health, counts the number of deaths on a daily basis to be able to continue to meet demand and react accordingly.
84 cremations per day
In total, the morgues of the hospitals in the metropolis have 225 places for the dead, and there are 1543 additional spaces in the funeral home.
The Fabrique of the parish of Notre-Dame-de-Montréal, which manages the Cemetery of Notre-Dame-des-Neiges, has only 600 spaces.
Facilities funeral of greater Montreal have at their disposal 14 crematory ovens, which allows for a maximum of 84 cremations per 24-hour period.
With the influx of deaths related to the COVID-19, it has separated the island into two to ensure we have teams of funeral homes are available 24 hours on 24. To the north and east, this is Magnus Poirier and to the south and the west, it is the Complex Aeterna.
The recovery of bodies has not always been easy in the last days. Dead in NURSING homes are held for several hours and even several days inside of the walls before the passage of the officials from the morgue.
Major Crimes in reinforcement
To help treat the increase in deaths, agents of the major crimes of the police Department of the City of Montreal could also come and lend a hand.
They would have the responsibility of bodies not identified or that have not been claimed by a family. This work will be done hand in hand with the coroner’s Office.
“The number of staff assigned to these tasks will be enhanced to reduce the time of investigation and thus facilitate the quick exit of these bodies to funeral companies “, one can read in the contingency plan.
In addition to the regional plan, each facility must have its own local plan to deal with the rise of the corpses inside the morgue.
“Arrangements can be made with companies with a funeral to allow for the extension of their morgue, as well as the use of refrigerated trucks. ”