25 May 2020

American Samoa morgue prepares for Covid-19

3:45 pm on 25 May 2020

Preparations are continuing in American Samoa for possible Covid-19 infections with the hospital morgue's capacity being increased as a precautionary measure.

LBJ hospital, American Samoa

LBJ hospital, American Samoa Photo: RNZI

The US territory is yet to have any confirmed cases of the coronavirus but health authorities were working on the premise that an infection could occur, with isolation facilities and other areas being worked on.

The LBJ Hospital was taking steps to ensure that in the event there were Covid-19 deaths, that corpses could be stored and handled properly and respectfully.

CEO Faumuina John Faumuina said bodies from Covid-19 deaths could not be stored in the morgue because of the infectious and contagious nature of the coronavirus.

They must be kept in an isolated storage and he said a local company had donated two container freezers for this purpose.

A site was being prepared behind the hospital morgue to place the containers which should be ready this week.

The morgue can currently store up to six bodies.