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COVID-19: Unclaimed Corpses Buried In Mass Graves On New York Island

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Unclaimed corpses of those that died from complications are being buried in Mass Graves on an Island in .

Hart Island is one of America’s largest public cemeteries, with more than one million people buried there.

New York authorities have used the site for over 150 years to lay to rest unclaimed bodies, unidentified people and residents whose families could not afford a private burial.

“We will continue using the island in that fashion during this crisis and it is likely that people who have passed away from COVID who fit this description will be buried on the island in the coming days,” a spokesperson for the city government told AFP.

The New York Times reported that around 25 people are being buried on Hart Island a day since the crisis started last month.

According to the report, the burial was 25 a week before the outbreak.

“We will continue using the island in that fashion during this crisis and it is likely that people who have passed away from COVID who fit this description will be buried on the island in the coming days,” a spokesperson for the city government told AFP.

The New York Times reported that around 25 people are being buried on Hart Island a day since the coronavirus crisis started last month.

According to the report, the burial was 25 a week before the outbreak.

The site has long been run by the city’s prisons department, and inmates from the nearby Rikers Island, one of America’s most notorious jails, are typically paid to perform the burials — although not during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are using contract labor,” the spokesperson said. Still-born children and AIDS victims have also been buried on Hart Island over the years.

“The site was off-limits to the public for decades but in recent years relatives have been allowed to visit on designated days. Late last year, New York’s city council voted to transfer control of Hart Island to its parks department and make it easier for the public to visit.

“The island has served as a prison camp for captured Confederates in the US Civil War, a mental asylum, a sanatorium for tuberculosis sufferers, a youth detention center and even a Cold War-era missile base.

“It is often referred to as New York’s “island of the dead” or “jail for the dead.”

Adelowo Adegboyega
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