A morgue in London hastily built an emergency extension as the city prepares for a surge in coronavirus deaths
- A morgue in the heart of London has been extended as the city prepares for a boom in cases of the coronavirus.
- On Wednesday, workers erected a large marquee outside Westminster Morgue, near the Houses of Parliament, which can house 102 bodies, doubling the overall capacity.
- Wednesday saw the UK total of infections jump by 600 to 2,626. Just over 100 people have died.
- London is said to have a more advanced outbreak than the rest of the country.
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On Wednesday, a large marquee went up to the rear of Westminster Morgue, near the Houses of Parliament, which can now house 102 additional bodies, according to Sky News.
The permanent mortuary building currently has room for 106, according to The Independent. The new structure will be ready for use by the weekend, a Westminster City Council worker told the website.
"This is a precautionary step and similar arrangements are made during any London wide response to incidents. We hope and trust that this will not be needed but it is sensible to prepare at this stage," a spokesperson for the council told Sky.
The capital has recorded 953 cases of the coronavirus, according to Public Health England Public Health England data, accurate as of March 18.
That number is expected to climb sharpyl over the next few days, after news on Wednesday that the UK total jumped by 600 to 2,626.
London is the worst-hit area of the UK, and is said to be around four weeks ahead of the rest of the country in the progress of its outbreak.
The UK government plans to bring forward emergency legislation on March 19 giving authorities powers to shut down pubs and restaurants, "restrict or prohibit events and gatherings" and limit activity in "any place, vehicle, train, vessel or aircraft."
40 stations on the London Underground network were shuttered on Thursday, and all schools in the UK will close from Friday.
"People should not be travelling, by any means, unless they really, really have to," said London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
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