Thursday, April 18, 2019
Acting Southern Regional Manager Franelda Gutierrez told the Reporter tonight that with the exception of a day or two last week, the morgue at the Southern Regional Hospital has been non-functional for approximately one month. While she could not provide an exact date, Gutierrez explained that they have been doing their best to get the morgue up and running, and expect it to be operational in a matter of weeks.
On Wednesday night, Elisa Tamai, 58, died of natural causes and her body was transported to the Southern Regional Hospital. Her husband was informed that her body could not be kept there, and the matter almost immediately made it into the media. One month ago, the public became aware of the malfunctioning morgue after the body of a woman decomposed while in storage at the morgue, and her family had to be called to bury her in a hurry.
Gutierrez told the Reporter that since then they have had technicians working to restore the morgue, and are currently waiting for parts that have been ordered. She explained that there is a plan B in place, which is that the Southern Regional Hospital will bear the expense of transporting the body to the morgue in Punta Gorda Town or Belmopan, whichever is more convenient to the family.
According to Gutierrez, there is little else they can do because the matter is beyond their control, and they cannot risk storing bodies in the morgue until they are certain it is operating at full efficiency.
The Reporter will keep following this story for updates.