THE government in Madrid has been forced to turn an ice rink into a morgue as the coronavirus body count continues to overwhelm services.
Municipal funeral homes have closed due to a ‘lack of protective gear and masks’ while dead bodies are piling up in public hospitals and private homes.
It has lead the City Council, military and regional government to agree to turn the Ice Palace into the ‘great morgue’ of the capital.
The 1,800sqm ice rink is usually used as a leisure centre but also holds ice skating championships.
It is sat within a shopping complex filled with shops and restaurants.
According to El Mundo, bodies will be arriving to the site tonight.
The City Council said: “We know that it is a very delicate issue, but there was no other option… it is a necessary reaction.
“Hospitals and crematoriums cannot cope with more.”
The ice rink, which is kept at a temperature of zero degrees, will keep hold of bodies to alleviate the work of the crematoriums.
The desperate measure was first discussed several days ago when COVID-19 caused a collapse at the Madrid morgues.
A City Council spokersperson told El Espanol: “Logically speaking it is an ideal place to keep corpses as due to the conditions, decomposition will be avoided.”
The space, once dedicated to children’s birthdays and sports competitions, will become one of the city’s largest morgues overnight.
“There was no other choice,” the city council said.
As of Monday the Madrid region had registered 10.575 coronavirus cases and 1,263 deaths.