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Coronavirus pandemic | 'There are no funerals': Death in quarantine leaves nowhere to grieve

The virus, which has killed nearly 9,000 people worldwide, is reshaping many aspects of death, from the practicalities of handling infected bodies to meeting the spiritual and emotional needs of those left behind.

March 19, 2020 / 07:30 PM IST

Struck down by coronavirus at the age of 83, the long life of Alfredo Visioli ended with a short ceremony at a graveyard near Cremona, his hometown in northern Italy.

"They buried him like that, without a funeral, without his loved ones, with just a blessing from the priest," said his granddaughter Marta Manfredi who couldn't attend. Like most of the old man's family - like most of Italy - she was confined to her home.

"When all this is over," she vows, "we will give him a real funeral."

Everywhere the coronavirus has struck, regardless of culture or religion, ancient rituals to honour the dead and comfort the bereaved have been cut short or abandoned for fear of spreading it further.