Current Affairs
Mater Dei’s mortuary reaches near capacity after four days without funerals

Mater Dei hospital’s mortuary this morning nearly reached its peak capacity with 79 corpses.

This was the result of the past four days – from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday – during which the Catholic Church does not carry out funeral services. The authorities activated a contingency plan to meet this situation.

Persons who died since last Wednesday and wanted a church funeral service were not buried before this morning, a situation that led to a great number of corpses at Mater Dei’s mortuary.

Television Malta is informed that till Monday morning, before funerals restarted, there were 79 corpses at the mortuary; some fifteen less than the maximum capacity, as the Operations Manager at the Mortuary and Anatomic Pathology, David Grima, explained.

“Originally it was planned that we have space for 60 corpses, however with the contingency plans and as times evolved, we have been dealing with for over 10 years. We had to plan for new exigencies, including when we have a great influx; an investment was made on specific trolleys to add the capacity by just over 90 corpses”.

In such circumstances a contingency plan is introduced. “Trolleys will enter in specified places which are temperature controlled and we will increase the capacity”.

Monday morning triggered the gradual release of corpses for a Catholic funeral, as the situation will take a few days to return to normal.

Mr Grima added that in normal circumstances, an average of 10 corpses are brought daily at the mortuary, while the same number are released for a total of just over 3,000 a year.

The majority of corpses at the mortuary arrive from Mater Dei hospital and the Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology hospital. Patients who die at Karin Grech and Boffa hospitals are also kept. Recently they added corpses of residents who died at St Vincent de Paul. The mortuary also accepts corpses of persons who die at their residence and forensic cases such as deaths in crime and accidents.


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