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The parking garage of a funeral home in Barcelona, which was retrofitted as a temporary morgue space for coronavirus deaths, closed on Sunday, further evidence of the slowing fatality rates in one of Spain’s hardest-hit cities.
As deaths spiked in March, the funeral home, run by the private company Mémora, announced that it decided to close its parking garage and install refrigeration units so workers could store the overflow of coffins in a safe place.
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“We installed refrigeration units to get the same conditions inside the funeral homes,” company spokesman Fernando Sánchez told The Associated Press.
Over 3,200 victims of COVID-19 passed through the temporary morgue in 53 days of use, the funeral home reported.
Now that the daily death count has fallen significantly from 900 a day at its peak in Barcelona to under 100 as of Sunday, the last of the bodies from the temporary morgue was buried and the funeral home planned to reopen a portion of the parking lot for public use. It still planned to keep some of the refrigerated units in place, however, as a contingency plan for a second wave that officials warned could unfold in the coming months.
Barcelona and the surrounding Catalonia region were only second to Madrid in virus deaths and infections for Spain. Catalonia has confirmed nearly 6,000 deaths and over 54,000 infections from the virus.
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A similar overflow of COVID-19 victims in Madrid led city officials to convert an ice rink into a morgue temporarily. They closed it last month.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.