France’s giant Rungis International, the largest wholesale food market in the world which is based in the southern suburbs of Paris, has opened as a morgue- providing a refrigerated hall for up to 1,000 coffins for those who died from Covid-19.
But, it doesn’t mean the authority closed down the wholesale food market because they are still selling meat, fish and vegetables.
‘This is necessary because undertakers cannot cope with the massive Covid-19 death toll – more space is urgently needed,’ said a police source in the city. However, the coffins will eventually be moved from the market hall to cemeteries or crematoria around France or abroad.
Paris police chief Didier Lallement had authorised the move, saying ‘Paris is the region of France most affected by coronavirus’ and adding that the crisis is ‘expected to continue for weeks’.
The Covid-19 death toll surged to just under 5,400 people on Thursday after the government began including nursing home fatalities and other care facilities in its data.
The market, which normally employs up to 15,000 people and is on a 575 acre site, will meanwhile continue to sell food.
Mr Salomon said: ‘We are in France confronting an exceptional epidemic with an unprecedented impact on public health.’
The country’s broad lockdown is likely to be extended beyond April 15, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said, extending a confinement order to try and deal with the crisis that began on March 17.