Disturbing images have emerged of coffins lined up in the coronavirus-ravaged city of Bergamo in northern Italy, where soldiers transported bodies to neighboring provinces because the local cemetery has been overwhelmed.
Footage shot by locals in the city northeast of Milan — and posted on local news outlet Eco di Bergamo’s website — show a convoy of military vehicles making its way overnight through the streets, according to Reuters.
Fifteen trucks and 50 soldiers were deployed to Bergamo to perform the grim task after city officials appealed for assistance with cremations, a military spokesman told the news service Thursday.
The total number of deaths across Italy shot up to almost 3,000, with almost 300 in the region of Lombardy, which includes Bergamo.
Attilio Fontana, the regional director of Lombardy, said that if a large number of doctors and nurses succumb to COVID-19, the country risked a “disaster.”
Italy, which went into virtual lockdown before other European countries, is considering even stricter measures in the desperate bid to stem the spread of the disease.
Luca Zaia, the governor of the Veneto region, demanded stronger measures from Rome — and said that if they were not passed, he would consider passing a regional decree.
“I hope there will soon be measures to restrict people jogging or going out for walks. I’m sorry about that but the alternative is intensive care, hospitalization and contagion,” he said.
On Thursday, the Corriere della Sera daily quoted Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte as saying the deadline on emergency measures closing schools and many businesses would be extended.
A #Bergamo hanno dovuto chiamare l'esercito per caricare camion e camion di bare da destinare a crematori fuori regione. Prima di lamentarvi della proroga del #lockdown riguardatevi sto video in loop.#coronavirusitalia pic.twitter.com/ofR1raGVTb— Alessandro Zanoni (@AlexZan87) March 19, 2020