Coronavirus: Italian town turns chapel into mortuary chamber as it struggles to cope with deaths

The chapel of a cemetery in northern Italy has been turned into a mortuary chamber as the town cannot cope with the number of people killed by coronavirus.

Bergamo, in the Lombardy region near Milan, is among the Italian towns worst affected by coronavirus.

It has more than 2,000 confirmed cases – recording a jump of over 300 cases in 24 hours – and almost 150 deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.

Doctors in the area have said they cannot cope with the rate of infected patients, likening the virus to an “earthquake”.

The chapel of All Saints, next to the city’s cemetery, has been transformed into a mortuary chamber, Milan newspaper Corriere della Sera and other Italian reports said.

An average of 40 coffins a day are kept there ahead of burial or cremation.

The adjacent cemetery has been closed to the public for the first time since the Second World War.

The crematorium works 24 hours a day, but even so cannot cope with the high mortality rate, and families of the victims must often wait several days before their loved ones can be cremated, the reports said.

The whole of Italy is in lockdown as the country copes with the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak outside of China.

All gatherings and ceremonies, including masses and funerals, are banned – meaning victims’ families cannot even bid farewell to their loved ones. Churches are closed.

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