US government orders 100,000 more body bags for possible coronavirus victims

Order was made ‘should there be any fall resurgence or need to respond to other disasters’

James Crump
Thursday 30 April 2020 17:00 BST
Dr Fauci on what to expect this winter

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has ordered 100,000 more body bags, in preparation for the worst case scenario of coronavirus deaths.

The agency spent $5.1m (£4.7m) on the body bags, after previously ordering 100,000 in early April, to help tackle the crisis, according to the Wall Street Journal.

It said that the “human-remains pouches” were ordered from a Californian company on 21 April and are expected to be delivered by Monday 4 May.

A FEMA spokeswoman told the journal that the agency needed to plan for the “worst possible case national scenario.”

She added: “In order to meet the worst-case demand models, FEMA initiated a broad range of acquisition contracts to augment available stocks and produce more human-remains pouches for future requirements should they be needed.”

The 100,000 bags ordered in early April, have already been delivered around the US, with amounts allocated based on numbers of cases and on state requests.

The spokeswoman also confirmed that the new order was made, “should there be any fall resurgence or need to respond to other disasters.”

On Wednesday, Dr Anthony Fauci, the chief infectious disease expert leading the US response to the pandemic, said that the US needs to prepare, because a second wave of coronavirus later in the year is “inevitable.”

Dr Fauci added: “If by that time we have put into place all of the countermeasures that you need to address this, we should do reasonably well.

“If we don’t do that successfully, we could be in for a bad fall and a bad winter.”

According to a tracking project hosted by Johns Hopkins University, there are now upwards of one million people who have tested positive for coronavirus in the US. The death toll has reached at least 61,005.

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