A TEMPORARY mortuary in Hampshire is set to be dismantled but county bosses are looking for an alternative site.

Civic chiefs have confirmed that the temporary mortuary set up at Southampton Airport in April will be dismantled by next month. But they said they are considering a number of options for a new site.

It comes as the morgue was set up on one side of the airfield known as the Grayson Site in a bid to serve Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton in the fight against coronavirus.

At the end of May Southampton Airport confirmed that domestic flights would resume this month. Now, a spokesperson for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Resilience Forum (HIOW LRF) said: “We are grateful for the support provided by Southampton Airport. 

“However, we recognise the importance for normal operations to recommence at the airport, and therefore anticipate handing back the area we currently occupy by early July.”

The HIOW LRF said they are considering the additional mortuary capacity that may be required going forward.

A spokesperson added: “There are a number of options for a new site currently on the table for consideration – we are hoping a decision on this will be made by early August.

“While we have not required the additional temporary capacity to date, we feel it is prudent to ensure our county is well placed to respond quickly should there be any further spikes in infection, and therefore mortality rates, particularly as we move into the winter.”

The sites currently being considered have not been revealed. The news comes as the latest government figures showed that there have been more than 295,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and just over 41,000 people have lost their lives.

The number of patients who have died in Hampshire hospitals with Covid-19 is now at 598, a rise of two in 24 hours as of Sunday afternoon.

University of Southampton NHS Trust has seen 191 deaths in total, while the number of those who have died at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust is 229.

A total of 159 people who had the virus have died at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, a rise of two since yesterday.

Solent NHS Trust has had two recorded deaths and Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust has had 17.