Grim Photo Shows Temporary Morgue Set Up For Community With Extremely Low Vaccination Rates

A photograph showing a temporary morgue set up in a shipping container has been released by a council in Queensland, Australia, with the warning that vaccination rates in the community are too low.

The makeshift morgue was sent to Palm Island by Queensland Health, the Aboriginal Shire Council wrote on its Facebook page, adding that the move represents "the starkest reminder yet that locals are a serious risk of illness and death from COVID."

In a statement, Palm Island Mayor Mislam Sam said: "We all look at the current infection numbers and think that's what will happen here, that we won't get real sick or die. The big difference is our population is massively under-vaccinated compared to the rest of the Queensland."

Overall Australia is experiencing a considerable rise in cases with 9,738 new cases per day, an increase of 354 percent over the past two weeks. The worst affected region of the country is New South Wales, which is reporting 5,956 new cases per day.

Speaking about the situation in the Queensland region, the Palm Island Mayor said: "While health authorities must plan for the worst, we can do more to make sure no one needs to use this morgue. I don't want to see this temporary morgue used at all. The only way is to go get vaccinated today."

On December 30, 9News reported that Queensland has recorded 2,222 new local COVID-19 cases in the previous 24 hours. This brought the state's total active cases to 8,586.

The region's Chief Health Officer, Dr. John Gerrard, warned that a sharp increase in COVID cases is expected in the coming days. He told the website: "The really big issue though, and this is key... is that we're not going to be talking about 8,000 cases in a few weeks. We're talking about tens of thousands of cases."

The New York Times COVID tracker reports that in Australia, 78 percent of citizens have been fully vaccinated, with 80 percent of the population having received one dose of a COVID vaccination. reports that over 86.2 percent of eligible Queensland citizens have been fully vaccinated. In comparison to this, only 58.4 percent of the Palm Island population have received two doses of a COVID vaccination.

"We have too many funerals now. Doctors now say we could lose many residents (from 5 to 60 deaths) on Palm, we have to listen and act," Mayor Mislam Sam said. "We can stop that possible tragedy just by getting vaccinated now and keeping our masks on."

An image showing a temporary morgue sent to Palm Island, Queensland, Australia. The move was the starkest reminder yet that locals are at a serious risk of illness and death from COVID. Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council