Rome needs to clear its mortuary

Rome requires more mortuary space to cope with emergencies.

A news piece in the Rome edition of the daily newspaper Corriere della Sera has highlighted unusual difficulties at the city's morgue. According to the news item the director of the Umberto I hospital and the rector of the Sapienza Unversity have informed the city authorities than many of the 150 spaces in the mortuary at the Verano cemetery are occupied by bodies that should already have been removed for burial.

Because the contract with AMA, Rome waste disposal agency, ended in the summer there is no-one to sign the documents for the removal of the dead even though they have been cleared for burial by the courts. In some cases the hospital has been paying for their maintenance but now the director has said that it can no longer continue to keep them in the mortuary.

The hospital has asked for at least 70 spaces to be freed up in the mortuary to be able to cope with what it terms “any eventuality”. Although the director does not appear to be more specific, Corriere della Sera interprets the plea as falling under the measures now in place to cope with a terrorist emergency.