In silence, Greek city buries coronavirus dead


Wreaths are placed on graves next to newly-opened graves, in a designated cemetery area for patients who died from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Thessaloniki, Greece, December 3, 2020. Picture taken December 3, 2020. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Alexandros Avramidis

THESSALONIKI, Greece (Reuters) - Authorities in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki have dug dozens of graves for the victims of COVID-19 after a sharp increase in the number of deaths.

Greece has ordered a second nationwide lockdown after a spike in cases of the new coronavirus. By Thursday, it had recorded 111,537 cases and 2,706 deaths.

Thessaloniki, a city of about one million and where the first nationwide cases surfaced in February, has been particularly hard hit during the second wave.

"We didn't encounter many cases in the first lockdown .. There were very few cases (then) and it wasn't every day. These days it's daily," said funeral services provider Stavros Chatzivaritis.

"There are between five and eight funerals, almost every day."

At the Resurrection of the Lord Cemetery in Thessaloniki, on the eastern side of Greece's second largest city, many new graves have been opened. The Greek Orthodox chapel in the compound conducts funeral services, with pallbearers in full protective clothing.

The silence in its graveyard is punctured by the gentle chant of an Orthodox priest, or by the thud of the shovelled earth hitting the coffin, wrapped in plastic.

There are flowers, but grieving relatives are kept to a minimum and at a distance. "To my beloved," wrote one on a wreath.

(Reporting by Alexandros Avramidis; Writing by Michele Kambas; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 18
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

Next In World

France reports 22,848 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in past 24 hours
Macron announces 1.8-bln-euro investment in quantum technologies
Israel reports 7,575 new COVID-19 cases, 582,293 in total
U.S. House Speaker Pelosi, colleagues weigh timing of Trump impeachment trial
Morocco registers 1,164 new COVID-19 cases, 463,706 in total
Israeli cybersecurity industry's fundraising up 70 pct in 2020
Pfizer cuts vaccine deliveries by as much as half to some EU countries
Biden to keep Christopher Wray as FBI director
U.S. weekly jobless claims slightly drop after soaring to five-month high
China ready to join Kazakhstan for stronger cooperation in all areas: FM

Stories You'll Enjoy