As the coronavirus death toll in France surged to 6,500 as of Friday, its government was reportedly set to convert part of the world's largest wholesale food market into a temporary morgue.
Paris, the nation’s most populous city, is one of the areas that have been hit hardest by the pandemic, Newsweek reported.
According to The Local, police are converting the hall at The Rungis International Market, situated outside of Paris, into a makeshift morgue to store the bodies of the coronavirus fatalities in the region to alleviate the pressure on funeral homes already overwhelmed.
The location "will allow bodies to be kept in the most dignified and acceptable conditions from a public health point of view," the French police said in a news release, Newsweek reported.
Paris Police Chief Didier Lallement on Thursday said officials were looking for a location big enough to deal with "current and anticipated needs." Construction for the site is almost finished, Lallement added in a statement, and coffins were expected to start arriving Friday, Newsweek reported.
Two visitation rooms have been set up inside the temporary morgue to allow for family members to gather and pay tribute to the deceased before their bodies are transported to crematoriums or a burial ground, The Local reported. A maximum of 20 people will be allowed at one time in the rooms.
According to Newsweek, it’s not the first time Rungis has been turned into a makeshift morgue. In 2003, the bodies of hundreds of elderly fatalities of the French heatwave were transported to the location and stored in freezer trucks and cold vegetable stores.
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