Shipping container becomes makeshift morgue at Sungai Buloh Hospital as COVID deaths rise

Exterior and interior of the container. Photo: Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia/Facebook
Exterior and interior of the container. Photo: Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia/Facebook

Malaysia is converting shipping containers into makeshift morgues as the COVID-19 death toll hits a record high of 80 over the weekend. 

The first container was set up at the Sungai Buloh Hospital in Selangor, and can fit up to 16 bodies. The Health Ministry revealed photos of the container as the country recorded 36 deaths on Sunday, of which six were in Sungai Buloh. 

“The elderly and chronically ill make up at least 80% of COVID-19 related deaths in the country,” the ministry said online. “Many of them are infected by close family members.”

The Sungai Buloh hospital is the main COVID-19 crisis center in the state, and is treating some of the 520 coronavirus patients in critical condition. 

“If you live with those from the high-risk community, protect yourself first, so you can protect your loved ones,” the Ministry of Health added. It did not indicate how many more of those containers will be used. 

Other than mortuaries, the bodies of those who died of COVID-19 are housed in COVID-19 centralized body facilities until they are cremated or buried by health officials.

Malaysia has clocked a total of 470,110 COVID-19 cases and 1,902 deaths since the outbreak began. The country went into its third lockdown on Wednesday in a bid to lower COVID-19 numbers, which have not been going down since the Sabah state elections in September last year.

Morgues for COVID-19 deaths have been set up in other countries badly hit by the coronavirus, including the United Kingdom, United States, and India.

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