Work has begun on an emergency mortuary on Wanstead Flats in preparation for the expected surge in coronavirus deaths.
The facility is being constructed at the east London beauty spot near Manor Park to take pressure off funeral directors who may be unable to cope.
This site, in Newham but owned by the City of London Corporation, is less than four miles from the Nightingale field hospital at the ExCeL conference centre, which opens today.
The London Resilience Forum, which is in charge of emergency preparation for London, is managing the mortuary design, build and operation.
It is one of a number of temporary morgues being built across the UK to help the country deal with a surge in deaths. Others are reportedly due to open at the Planet Ice ice rink in Milton Keynes and at Breakspear crematorium in Ruislip.
Newham mayor Rokhsana Fiaz said: “As part of the government’s response additional mortuary space is being found and one of those is in the Manor Park area of Newham.
“The facility will act as a holding point before a respectful and dignified cremation or burial can take place to send a loved one on their final journey. Sadly relatives will not be able to visit the site. The land will be fully reinstated once this desperate situation has passed.”