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Parts of Italy struggle to cope with the sheer volume of COVID-19 deaths

Parts of Italy struggle to cope with the sheer volume of COVID-19 deaths
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By Mark Armstrong with AP
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Some towns in Italy are running out of space to store coffins as the sheer volume of COVID-19 deaths overwhelms morgues and funeral services.

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Some places in northern Italy are struggling to deal with the sheer volume of COVID-19 deaths.

In the town of Tortona in Alessandria province, there's no more room in the cemetery chapel or at the morgue.

Instead, the authorities have had to bring in a refrigerated container to store the coffins until funeral arrangements can be made.

"It's the one we must use to help us to stock the victims until it is possible to cremate them or to find burial recesses for them," explained Federico Chiodi, the mayor of Tortona. "Unfortunately, it is not possible to bury COVID-19 victims in a normal manner."

In Bergamo, one of the biggest clusters in Italy, the situation has become unmanageable.

Those responsible for the funeral services threaten to withdraw their labour in the coming days, fearing they could be become victims themselves or end up spreading the virus.

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