A director of Thammasat University Hospital near Bangkok told Reuters the hospital had had to resort to tactics not seen since the 2004 tsunami hit the region.
The hospital mortuary typically performs a maximum of seven autopsies per day, but it has seen more than 10 bodies per day, exceeding its capacity of 10 freezers.
“There is not enough space, so we bought two containers for the storage of the bodies,” Director Pharuhat Tor-udom told Reuters.
“During the tsunami, we used containers to store bodies waiting to be autopsied for identification. But we haven’t had to do it (yet) so far, ”Tor-udom said.
According to the hospital official, among the bodies whose cause of death is not identifiable, 20% of them subsequently tested positive for the coronavirus.
This grim development follows a disturbing wave of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Thailand as the country continues to set new records.
According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), Thailand had 17,345 confirmed cases on Friday and the country recorded its highest number of cases on Thursday with 17,669 cases.
Overall, the country recorded more than 10,000 new cases for most of the second half of July while maintaining a measly 5% vaccination rate, according to data from John Hopkins University.
Other cities and countries in Asia are also grappling with a worrying wave of new cases of COVID-19, including Malaysia and the host city of the Tokyo Olympics.
Tokyo on Friday recorded more than 4,000 cases of COVID-19 – a historic record for the city. Four more zones were added to the state of emergency in Japan on Friday following an increase in COVID-19 cases.
According to WHO data, Malaysia confirmed 17,170 new cases on Friday and 17,405 new cases the day before. The country has reported well over 14,000 new cases in recent days.