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Italian crematoriums running out of space as MILITARY patrols enforce quarantine in world's DEADLIEST coronavirus hotspot (VIDEOS)

With Italy taking China’s place as the top Covid-19 epicenter, the country is struggling to keep up with the number of new deaths, as morgues quickly fill to capacity and the army has been called in to enforce a national lockdown.

Italy marked the deadliest day yet for any country in the fast-moving coronavirus pandemic on Friday, reporting 627 fatalities in a single day. The lethal outbreak isn’t just pushing Italy’s hospitals to their breaking point, but mortuaries and crematoria have also been overwhelmed by the sheer number of patients killed by the disease, forcing some to consider halting the intake of new bodies to make room.

“At the moment we receive an average of 25 coffins a day but we can manage only 12,” the manager of a crematorium in the province of Piacenza in northern Italy told RT’s Ruptly.

Obviously, this situation creates an abnormal amount, bringing us to an emergency phase, making us very likely to halt for a few days in order to be able to recover some space.

Also on rt.com Convoy of Italian army trucks haul away corpses as local crematorium flooded with coronavirus dead (VIDEO)

Neighboring regions have already begun sending their own excess bodies to the Piacenza facility, the manager added, observing: “It is the same problem that Bergamo had and exactly for this reason, we are receiving the coffins from all across central and northern Italy. They do not have any more provisional spaces for coffins.”

The grim dilemma comes as Italy reports in excess of 47,000 infections and 4,000 deaths, with the rapid growth in cases prompting Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to extend a national lockdown imposed last week beyond its original April 3 cutoff, affecting some 60 million people. Additional travel restrictions could come within the next 48 hours, Minister of Regional Affairs Francesco Boccia said on Friday, suggesting all public activities could be ground to a halt.

“There are so many people walking around who have the virus and who are at risk of infecting others,” Matteo Bassetti, the director of the infectious diseases department at Genoa's San Martino clinic, told Italy's AGI news agency.

The 40,000 cases we are talking about could actually be 100 times higher.

Soldiers have already been called into the streets to enforce the stringent containment measures, with scores of mask-clad troops seen patrolling Sicily's capital of Palermo on Friday in footage captured by Ruptly. Deployed as reinforcements under the so-called “Safe Streets” operation, the soldiers have concentrated attention on the city’s central train station and its port.

Sicily – an autonomous region of Italy – has tallied 340 cases of Covid-19 since Thursday.

Worldwide, the coronavirus has spread to more than 275,000 people across at least 160 nations, after the epidemic began in China’s Hubei Province late last year. While China has seen the worst of its own outbreak after three months of intense efforts to combat it, the disease has since spread to every inhabited continent and quickly burgeoned into a global pandemic.

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