On New York’s ‘Island of the Dead’, unclaimed coronavirus victims are buried

Published on : 11/04/2020 – 01:32

Dozens of unclaimed, unidentified or for whom loved ones could not afford a funeral victims of Covid-19 are buried on an island in the Bronx, New York, the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States.

Dozens of bodies of Covid-19 victims unclaimed by relatives are buried on an island in New York, long known as “the island of the dead”. Located in the northeast of the Bronx, Hart Island has been used as New York’s mass grave since 1869. Over a million people unidentified, unclaimed, or for whom relatives could not afford a funeral are already buried on the island. ‘Isle.

“We will continue to use the island for this purpose during the crisis and it is likely that people who died from Covid-19 who fall within one of these cases will be buried there in the days to come,” said Friday April 10 to AFP a spokesperson for the city of New York.

Images filmed by drone this week for the New York Post show dozens of sketchy coffins being buried on Hart Island. Quoted by several media, a spokesperson for the city’s prison services, which manage the place, said that around 24 people were buried every day currently, against 25 on average per week before the pandemic.

Nearly 8,000 dead in New York State

On Friday, the mayor of New York implicitly admitted that bodies of people who died from the coronavirus were buried on Hart Island. New York State remains the worst affected in the United States, with 777 new deaths in the past 24 hours and 7,844 total deaths since the pandemic arrived in the region.

Usually inmates, taken from the famous nearby Rikers Island prison, provide the burials. But given the risks of contamination and concerns about the spread of the virus in detention, the task is currently being carried out by employees of a subcontractor, said a spokesperson for the City of New York.

The management of the island has been regularly criticized, with the prison services accused of not maintaining the site properly. In early 2018, several local media had shown images of bones scattered on the shores of the island, from skeletons discovered by erosion.

With AFP

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