Spain’s funeral services struggle amid flu and covid deaths

Spanish funeral homes struggling to cope

Image of Spanish cemetery. Credit: T.W. van Urk/

THE recent surge in flu and Covid deaths across Spain has reportedly left many Spanish funeral homes struggling to cope.

In the wake of the recent ‘tripandemic’, funeral services across Spain are facing difficulties. As the flu and Covid cases surged after Christmas, the question arises, how well are funeral homes equipped to handle this latest crisis?

Rising death toll challenges services

As of late January, funeral homes are sounding the alarm over their capacity to manage the increasing number of deaths.

Manuel Tejadas, the head of operations in Catalonia for the Interfunerarias funeral services chain, expressed his concern: ‘We are overwhelmed. I have not seen such a spike in deaths since the pandemic.’

This sentiment is echoed across various regions including Madrid and the Valencian Community, with reports of bodies piling up in hospitals.

Delays in funeral homes

The situation has become so dire that some families are waiting up to four days to bury their loved ones, a significant increase from the usual 24 to 48 hours.

This delay is not only emotionally taxing for families but also a logistical nightmare for funeral services. ‘Hospitals keep calling us to go collect bodies and here we have significant saturation,’ Tejadas explains.

Challenges across the board

Despite the decrease in flu and Covid cases, hospitals remain overwhelmed. The Christmas wave of infections has led to a sharp increase in hospital admissions and emergency services are still reeling.

This has had a knock-on effect on funeral services, leading to staffing increases in some homes to manage the demand.

Adapting to the crisis

In response to the crisis, some funeral homes are adapting by doubling their staff. However, the situation remains challenging with the continued pressure from respiratory viruses.

Experts caution that while the flu may be slowing down, vigilance is still necessary. While the flu and Covid may be on the decline, the impact on funeral services is still being felt across Spain.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • CCW60

      13 January 2024 • 14:50

      Flu deaths “surge” every year and have for hundreds of years but no one made a big deal of it till now. The only question we should be asking is why the powers that be want to hype it up as if it’s never happened before. BTW thought those jabs were supposed to prevent people from getting COVID and prevent them from being able to spread it?? So much for the effectiveness of the jabs! How many of those who died from COVID were jabbed? My guess is 99.99 percent of them!

      • Robert Pennington

        14 January 2024 • 14:06

        You thought completely wrong – the vaccine prevents neither infection nor transmission, but it makes severe illness less likely.

    • Robert Marshall

      13 January 2024 • 18:50

      See spain is still lying about the mild corona virus

    • Mac

      14 January 2024 • 08:24

      without sounding callous, this is genuinely not a problem for anyone, in the UK you could wait weeks or longer for a funeral service and this rush to dispose of the dead here in Spain is unnecessary with cold storage. I would not want to be interred within such a short period, I would like to give friends and family a chance to attend my funeral. A none story.

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