The grim inside story of how France struggled to deal with the Covid dead

By Lou syrah

A report from a French government department has highlighted the major problems that took place as the country dealt with the victims of the epidemic in the spring. These included the enforced cremations of some of those who died, and funeral staff being exposed to danger of infection. The document, seen by Mediapart, contains a number of recommendations about what the state should do in the future. But as Lou Syrah reports, there are fears that without swift action the authorities could face similar problems - and greater anger - during the second wave.

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A government document has revealed the extent to which France struggled to deal with the victims of the Covid epidemic in the spring. The report, seen by Mediapart, shows that in some cases cremations were imposed, funerals were banned and the bodies of the some of the deceased had to be sealed immediately in coffins.