Reuters has confirmed widely circulating which shows a deeply disturbing apocalyptic and dystopian scene of a large convoy of military trucks removing bodies from a town in northern Italy which has been devastated by coronavirus.
Local government and morgue facilities in the town of Bergamo, northeast of Milan, have been overwhelmed by the number of cases and deaths.
"Italy ordered the army to move bodies from a northern town at the center of the coronavirus outbreak where funeral services have been overwhelmed as the government prepared to prolong emergency lockdown measures across the country," Reuters reports.
I was sent this video from Bergamo, Italy. The military has been asked to transport dead bodies and coffins because there are no more spaces in the crematoriums or the mortuaries. #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/PGVuuqxEoh— Alessandra (@alessabocchi) March 18, 2020
The local newspaper Eco di Bergamo was among the first media outlets to publish the footage, which also went viral on social media.
Some 60 coffins were transported to crematoria outside the town on Wednesday night alone, the Italian newspaper reports:
Army vehicles brought numerous coffins, about sixty, from the cemetery of Bergamo to the crematoria of other regions where there are municipalities that have made themselves available to accept them.
This isn't a war or movie scene. What you're seeing are military trucks conveying coffins of #Coronavirus victims from Bergamo, Lombardy, Italy to a cremation Center. There’s no more space for them in d hospitals. I’ve never seen anything similar. In #Nigeria, our govt is joking pic.twitter.com/KSHGd0U3BS— 𝓓𝓻 𝓔𝓵 𝓜𝓸 𝓐𝓽𝓲𝓴𝓾 𝓐𝓫𝓾𝓫𝓪𝓴𝓪𝓻 (@DRElMo_ATIKU) March 19, 2020
The footage shows a long column of military trucks transporting coffins from the town's overwhelmed morgue and churches, as local government and religious leaders can't keep up with conducting funerals and burials.
The city's crematorium has been reportedly operating 24-hours a day, as the region's large population of elderly have been especially impacted by the deadly virus.
Other cities are expected to receive the bodies being transported by the army, such as nearby Parma, Brescia, Domodossola, and Modena — the latter about 110 miles away.
Italy as the European epicenter for the outbreak on Wednesday witnessed a terrifying leap in deaths as the total rose by 475 to almost 3,000. This included a record 4,207 confirmed new infections in one day.
Bergamo sits in Lombardy province, which has over 4,000 cases and more than 300 deaths. Townspeople have reportedly been forced to resort to forgoing funerals altogether for their relatives as the situation gets ever more dangerous for infection.
"The crematorium of Bergamo, working at full capacity, 24 hours a day, can cremate 25 dead," a city authority said as reported the ANSA News Agency. "It is clear that it could not stand up to the numbers of the past few days."
One grieving relative of an elderly local man that died of Covid-19 also told media outlets: "I think it's worse than a war," as obituary pages in the local newspaper has recently extended to ten pages long.