Coronavirus: Italian Army Sends Coffins to Be Cremated as Cemeteries Fill Up

Italian army trucks on Thursday transported dozens of coffins from a cemetery in hard-hit Bergamo that will be brought to and temporarily stored in churches across the Lombardy region, awaiting cremation.

The high number of deaths from COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, has caused many cemeteries to have to reject coffins due to lack of space.

While funerals are currently not being performed in northern Italy, as part of measures to contain the spread of the new virus, cremation procedures are not fast enough to cope with the high number of deceased.

In the meantime, coffins are being stored in local churches, including the Santissimo Redentore and the Saint Joseph Church, both in Seriate just south of Bergamo.

“We created 80 places to face this emergency which is devastating our province,” said Mario Carminati, a Seriate parish preist.

Due to a nationwide lockdown in Italy, relatives of the victims cannot be present at churches or cemetaries to bid farewell.

Bergamo, the city with the most cases in Italy, reported 7,072 people infected with coronavirus as of Wednesday.

Italy as a whole on Wednesday reported the number of confirmed cases had reached 74,386, and the death toll rose to a total of 7,503.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks.

For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

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In This Story: Covid-19

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