Spain: 'We are overloaded' — Madrid funeral workers struggle amid COVID-19 outbreak

14 апреля 2020 г. 18:19

A funerary worker in Madrid, the Spanish city hit hardest by the COVID-19 outbreak, shared his experiences of dealing with the hard and stressful job at the cemetery. While speaking at La Almudena graveyard on Tuesday, embalming teacher and current funeral worker Manuel Martin, explained: «We are overloaded with work, which generates a kind of stress and pressure for the workers which is difficult to deal with, and of course giving care to the families is very difficult, because they were not able even to say goodbye.» «There are funerary workers that have a family with children and they're isolated from them. It's very hard picking up so many bodies, it's a very physically and mentally hard work, when we pick up the bodies and when we work in the funeral home. I think it's a job without the proper social recognition,» he added. Martin also commented on the challenges faced by some funeral homes with infected employees or personal protective equipment (PPE) supply problems, as well as the issues encountered after dealing with bodies where death certificates did not necessarily specify the cause of death as coronavirus. «Doctors, in many cases, when they were about to fill in the medical death certificate, which is the document needed to make the registration [of the death] in the civil registry didn't wrote that the cause was covid. It's understandable, because they didn't have access to tests and were not able to certificate a cause of death they were not sure of, so the [safety] protocol wasn't activated, this is a problem which caused us many headaches,» Martin stated. On Tuesday, Spain registered 567 deaths in 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths by people with the coronavirus to 18,056 since the crisis began. The total number of confirmed cases has reached 172,541.

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