THIS is the second provisional facility to close in Madrid which was set up to house the bodies of those deceased as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the first to close was the Majadahonda Ice Rink.
Today the Community of Madrid had a bittersweet ceremony in which their first provisional morgue, the Ice Palace in the capital, has finally closed. Thankfully, the medical system and saturation of cases less saturated now, however, officials held a solemn memorial to honour all the victims who had passed through the morgue.
This morgue, installed on the ice skating rink of a shopping centre in the capital, is the second provisional facility of this type to be closed in the Community of Madrid, after the regional government closed the Majadahonda Ice Palace on April 14.
For now, only the Institute of Legal Medicine in the failed Madrid City of Justice is open and in use for this purpose.
Since last Tuesday, the three authorised facilities had received a total of 1,785 deaths : 1,145 at the Ice Palace in Madrid (the first provisional morgue opened on March 24), 162 at the Ice Palace in Majadahonda, and 478 at the Institute building of Legal Medicine.
This morning’s event, in which a minute of silence was held for the deceased, was chaired by the Defence Minister, Margarita Robles; the president of the Community, Isabel Díaz Ayuso; and the mayor of the capital, José Luis Martínez-Almeida.
Robles told the relatives of the deceased “to rest assured that they were not alone” and that they were treated “with dignity.” “We have not been able to save their lives, but let it be known that, our Armed Forces … they have not left them alone for a minute,” she stressed.
Ayuso regretted that this pandemic “has caused families to be separated” and that their loved ones have not had the chance to have”a proper funeral,” but she stressed that “we are going to unite now more than ever,” and has reassured: “When we Spaniards organise ourselves and work together we are an unstoppable team.”
Almeida recalled that “behind each one of these marks there is a person and their life, with their family, with their loved ones and with their dreams,” and that “the best tribute we can do” is that “the memory of all those who have died “become the” cornerstone “to build” a better society and a better Spain.”
In addition, he took the opportunity to thank “the extraordinary professionalism” and “sensitivity” of the Army, Fire and municipal funeral workers, as well as the service provided by the Ice Palace concessionaires.
At the end of the act, the deputy mayor of Madrid, Begoña Villacís, declared that the Army’s accompaniment of the deceased should act as “a consolation for these hard times,” and added, that the closure of this morgue is “a symbol of hope” representing that the most critical phase of the pandemic has been overcome.