A TEMPORARY mortuary is being established in Macmerry as East Lothian Council prepares to face the "challenges ahead".

Tom Reid, the council's head of infrastructure, has confirmed the decision to set up the facility in council facilities, saying he hoped the county - in lockdown like the rest of the UK due to the coronavirus - would never need to use it.

Mr Reid said: "Like other councils in Scotland, we are required to put in place resources that ensure we are prepared and able to deal with worst-case scenarios and potential challenges.

“That’s why a decision has been taken to commission a temporary mortuary facility within existing council facilities.

“Whilst our hope is that this facility will not be required, its commissioning is a necessary and precautionary step at this challenging time across the country.”

It is understood the facility will be based in Macmerry Industrial Estate on the outskirts of the village, where a number of council services have a base including the local authority’s emergency control centre.

A total of 3,001 people in Scotland (408 in the Lothians) have tested positive for Covid-19; there have been 172 deaths.

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