Update about Coronavirus (Covid-19): Temporary mortuary facilities to be built on land owned by the City of London Corporation on Wanstead Flats in Manor Park - From Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz 31 March 2020

​​Dear Newham Resident,

The number of people in Newham confirmed with coronavirus is now 287 – that is up 37 on yesterday and the figure for London stands at 7,121 as of today.​​​

In my statement last night, I talked about how the new NHS Nightingale Hospital London will be receiving its initial 500 patients this week, increasing to 4,000 who will be receiving treatment. Preparing for the new hospital in Newham will invariably worry some residents who will be concerned about increased risks of infection.

That’s why we’ve produced a FAQ sheet, which you can read

We know that coronavirus is deadly and so far 1,789 people have died in the UK. We know that the number of deaths will rise.

That is why as part of the Government’s response, additional mortuary space is being found and one of those is Manor Flats in the Manor Park area of Newham. This site is owned by the City of London Corporation and is very close to their Cemetery and Crematorium nearby, and today work on the build process started.

The Coronavirus Act 2020 gives the Government the power to demand that the City Corporation provide the site for this purpose.

The London Resilience Forum, which manages emergency preparedness for London, will be responsible for its design, build and operation, alongside ensuring that it meets all public health requirements. The land will be fully reinstated once this desperate situation has passed.

The facility will act as a holding point before a respectful and dignified cremation or burial can take place to send a loved one on their final journey. Sadly relatives will not be able to visit the site.

Public Health England has also issued new guidance on funerals to ensure that they are conducted safely and in line with social distancing principals. Funeral directors and faith leaders will be encouraging people to help reduce the risk of spreading the infection by restricting the number of mourners who attend burials. 

​They’ve also strongly advised that mourners should not take part in any rituals or practices that bring them into close contact with the body of the person who has died from or with symptoms of coronavirus since there is a small but real risk of transmission from the body of a deceased person. 

You can read the guidance here​

That’s why, whatever the circumstances, it’s important that you reduce your risk of contracting coronavirus – or put lives at risk by aiding its spread. Keep washing your hands regularly for 20 seconds, stop unnecessary journeys by staying at home and keep a distance of 2 metres with others if you do.

Only that way, do we have a chance of easing the strain on our health services and reducing the number of deaths.

Please stay well and safe.

Published: 31 Mar 2020