The "belly of Paris" will be partly transformed into a morgue. While the Ile-de-France has concentrated a third of deaths related to the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the Prefecture of Police has decided to requisition one of the halls of the international market of Rungis, in Val-de-Marne, to store the bodies of the victims of Covid-19. A measure that had already been implemented during the heat wave of 2003.
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An isolated pavilion to accommodate 1,000 coffins
Placed in a pavilion isolated from the others, this morgue began to be fitted this Thursday with the installation of camp beds. According to information from Europe 1, up to a thousand coffins can be brought into this new space, pending burial or cremation in France or abroad. The objective is to relieve the regional funeral services while 1,406 Ile-de-France residents were struck down by the Covid-19, according to figures published Wednesday by the Regional Health Agency.
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An important flow which it is necessary to manage, to be able to allow in particular the relatives of the victims to mourn with dignity. Funeral homes will therefore be set up inside the building, and as of Monday the first families will be able to come and meditate there.
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A similar measure already adopted during the 2003 heat wave
If this spectacular measure is one more sign of the scale of the health crisis which crosses the country, it is not however the first time that it is implemented. During the heat wave of 2003, 17 years ago, a warehouse of 4,000 square meters refrigerated at 5 degrees was requisitioned for the same purpose. It had thus temporarily become the largest morgue in France and could accommodate 2,000 bodies.
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But this time, we will have to be extra vigilant, since the deceased victims of Covid-19 can remain contagious. The High Council of Public Health has also issued recommendations in this direction last week, and recommends a distance of one meter between the bodies and the relatives who will come to meditate.