Temporary morgue in Paris market hall closes as Covid-19 death rate falls

Temporary morgue in Paris market hall closes as Covid-19 death rate falls
Photo: AFPThe Rungis market covers a 24 hectare site on the outskirts of Paris. Photo: AFP
French police have closed down the temporary morgue in a Paris food market, as the steady decline in coronavirus deaths has seen funeral companies able to take control over the situation.

Paris police on Saturday closed down the temporary morgue in the Rungis food hall – the famous fresh food market just south of Paris.

“Funeral operators in Île-de-France are once again able to take care of all the bodies of the deceased (in the region),” the police said in a statement.

Île-de-France, the densely populated region enclosing the French capital, was especially hard hit by the novel coronavirus, which caused such a rapid increase in the number of daily deaths.

With a capacity of up to 20,000 coffins, the Rungis morgue played a crucial role in alleviating pressure on the region's funeral agencies during the height of the coronavirus epidemic.

READ ALSO: Paris police requisition hall at Rungis food market to store bodies of coronavirus victims

The morgue had not received new bodies since May 13th, according to France Info.

After France imposed a strict nationwide lockdown on March 17th, the country managed to slowly curb the coronavirus infection rates, along with the number of critically ill in the country's hospital and the death rates.

The past few weeks, the country's health authorities have reported low numbers of daily deaths in the countries hospitals.

On Sunday, 13 people died in hospital from Covid-19. On Saturday the number was 31, on Friday it was 46. After problems with timely data, deaths in care homes are now being reported weekly.

READ ALSO: France identifies 150 coronavirus clusters, many in health centres and hospitals

Rungis food market is a vast site that usually supplies wholesalers and restaurants, but several sections closed during the nationwide lockdown. It continued to offer home deliveries of fresh fruit and vegetables to people in the Paris area.

The food hall also served as a temporary morgue during the 2003 heatwave in which thousands of Parisians, most of them elderly, died. 

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