Drive through funerals taking place every 15 minutes in Spain as deaths cross 13,300
Though the pace of deaths slowed, a shortage of cremation capacity in several places showed the national agony was far from over. La Almudena cemetery in Madrid -- the largest in the country -- saw funerals held every 15 minutes for those that have died from COVID-19.
Spain is holding drive-through funerals for coronavirus victims as the number of deaths rises above 13,700. The daily number of coronavirus deaths in the country had fallen for four consecutive days, but the figure announced on Tuesday marked an increase of more than 100 on the previous day. A shortage of cremation capacity in several places showed the national agony was far from over.
Another 743 people have died of Covid-19 in Spain in the past 24 hours, bringing the country's death toll to 13,798, the country's Health Ministry said. More than 140,500 people tested positive for the virus in Spain, the highest number in the world after the US.
La Almudena cemetery in Madrid -- the largest in the country -- saw funerals held every 15 minutes for those that have died from COVID-19.
Hearses were seen driving up to the doors of the chapel before a quick blessing followed by burial or cremation.
Spain has the second-highest death toll in the world after Italy.
Although funerals are allowed to go ahead in the country, no more than five people are allowed to attend a service. Surrounded by piles of new coffins ready for shipment and her face covered with a mask, Maria Chao told Reuters her Ataudes Chao coffin-making firm near Madrid had increased supplies "dramatically", by up to 10 times during the crisis.
Many Spaniards were becoming frustrated at the strict lockdown they have been under since mid-March. With the pace of deaths slowing down, the country's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez had earlier said: “We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
But he said he would extend the country's nationwide lockdown measures to April 26. It is the second time the lockdown has been extended since it originally came into force on March 14.