Italian church filled with coronavirus coffins empty for first time

Italian church that was filled with coronavirus coffins is empty for the first time in weeks in symbol of hope that the country is beating Covid-19

  • Giorgio Gori took to Twitter to celebrate recent drop in deaths and infections 
  • Gori added: ‘We said that we could beat the virus and it seems it is happening’ 
  • Bergamo has been regarded as the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak 
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

The mayor of the city of Bergamo, Italy’s coronavirus epicentre, has published pictures of a church and cemetery empty of victims’ coffins for the first time in weeks, as symbol of ‘hope’ for the country.   

Bergamo mayor Giorgio Gori took to Twitter on April 18 to share the first images of the city’s cemetery now clear where once hundreds of bodies were being held.

He celebrated a recent decrease in deaths and infections in Italy, urging its population they had passed through the ‘most difficult phase’ of the pandemic.

Italy has been one of Europe’s hardest-hit countries for infections and fatalities, recording 181,228 confirmed cases and 24,114 deaths, according to research by Johns Hopkins University.

It is second only to Spain in Europe, and the third worst-hit in the world with Spain second and the US leading.

A very different picture – a cemetery in the city of Bergamo, Italy’s coronavirus epicentre, stands vacant after weeks of holding the coffins of coronavirus victims 

In the images posted online by mayor Gori, a church and cemetery in Bergamo now stands vacant.  

The city in northern Italy’s Lombardy region has been regarded as the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy.

Images of the interior of the church of San Giuseppe in Seriate, Bergamo taken in late March, show the grim reality the Italian province has witnessed in recent weeks with lines of coffins filling the place of worship.

Mayor Gomi said from March 1 until Easter Bergamo had suffered more than 600 deaths due to coronavirus. 

He added he wanted to thank its citizens for staying indoors amid the growing death toll.  

An army medical worker, in full protective clothing, seen spraying the many coffins laid in the church of San Giuseppe in Seriate, Bergamo before they were transported away by the army 

The church of San Giuseppe in Seriate, Bergamo where many coffins were laid as the death toll mounted 

A priest blesses the dead lined in the hall of the church of San Giuseppe in Seriate, Bergamo

After tweeting the picture he said: ‘The news I can give you today is finally positive. In these weeks there has been a decrease in the infections and deaths (from coronavirus). 

‘The image of the church from the cemetery that was occupied by the coffins of many of our neighbours gives us the idea that we have gone through the most difficult phase and we can keep on having hope’. 

Gomi added: ‘We said that we could beat the virus and it seems it is happening.’ 

Italian soldiers, some of them wearing face masks, gather next to some of their trucks in Bergamo where local crematorium staff have been handling 24 bodies a day 

Italian army trucks parked next to a monument in Bergamo as they prepared to take coffins out of the city

A fleet of army trucks on a highway in Bergamo, on March 18, transporting the coffins of coronavirus victims out of the city after the local cemetery became overwhelmed by the virus death toll 

He said the situation in Bergamo had ‘almost gone back to normality’ and that ‘four hotels are still hosting patients’ discharged from hospitals. 

Quarantine measures in Italy are expected to be eased on May 4, with citizens possibly permitted outdoors to exercise. 

New cases of coronavirus in Italy have continued to decrease daily in recent weeks, as have numbers of new deaths. 

On Saturday, Italy recorded 3,491 new cases and 482 new deaths; on Sunday 3,047 and 433; and on Monday, 2,256 and 454.  

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