Temporary morgues built, UK hospitals overwhelmed

Temporary morgues have been set up in some areas of Britain - after local hospitals ran out of space for bodies from COVID-19 deaths.

The UK has reported record levels of fatalities and new infections in the last few weeks, fueled by a new variant of the coronavirus that threatens to overwhelm the healthcare system.

In the county of Surrey, just south of London, hospital mortuaries have reached their capacity of 600 - leading local authorities to set up a temporary morgue there.

A spokesman for the Surrey Resilience Forum said the facilities were asked to collect bodies to, quote - "avoid patients who have sadly died being left on wards, or as we have seen overseas left in corridors."

He added that there were around 170 bodies currently being kept at the Headley Court facility - formerly a Ministry of Defence site in Leatherhead.

The temporary mortuary was first arranged in April during the UK's initial outbreak, and has space for 845 bodies.

Similar facilities have been constructed - or are being constructed - both in London and the southeastern county of Kent.

Britain has reported more than 80,000 deaths - the fifth highest death toll globally.

Video Transcript

- Temporary morgues have been set up in some areas of Britain, after local hospitals ran out of space for bodies from COVID-19 deaths. The UK has reported record levels of fatalities and new infections in the last few weeks fueled by a new variant of the coronavirus that threatens to overwhelm the health system. In the county of Surrey, just South of London, hospital mortuaries have reached their capacity of 600, leading local authorities to set up a temporary morgue there. A spokesman for the Surrey Resilience Forum said the facilities were asked to collect bodies to quote, "avoid patients who have sadly died being left on wards, or as we have seen overseas left in corridors." He added that there were around 170 bodies currently being kept at the Headley Court facility, formerly a Ministry of Defense site in Leatherhead.

The temporary mortuary was first arranged in April during the UK's initial outbreak and has space for 845 bodies. Similar facilities have been constructed or are being constructed both in London and the southeastern county of Kent. Britain has reported more than 80,000 deaths, the fifth highest death toll globally.