The mortuary, about the size of two football pitches, is being developed on forest land close to the City of London crematorium and cemetery and is expected to take the dead from the new Nightingale Hospital at the ExCel Centre.
The morgue’s proximity to the hospital, which is less than three miles away, and the cemetery has been planned to make it easier to ferry bodies from the temporary mortuary to their final resting place or the furnaces.
The grim news of the development was relayed to local residents in letters placed through their letter boxes from Newham Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz.
Around the same time builders began erecting wooden fencing around the site and diggers moved in.
The construction of the mortuary is the latest development to battle the pandemic after the government put up make-shift testing facilities at Ikea in Wembley, and another swabbing site at Chessington.
Downing Street is desperately trying to ramp up the number of checks carried out, amid fears 85 per cent of self-isolating NHS staff might be off unnecessarily due to a lack of screening. No10 today admitted just 2,000 frontline NHS workers have been tested for coronavirus.’