A church in Italy is being used as a makeshift cemetery for up to 80 coffins

BERGAMO, Italy (CNN) - Rows of coffins can be seen next to pews in an Italian church, and it is just another sign of the toll the coronavirus pandemic has had on the European country.

“It’s no longer just a church, it’s a cemetery,” parish priest of Seriate Don Mario said of the church of San Giuseppe in an interview with SKY TG 24.

There are 80 places created inside the religious building. The first 17 bodies arrived Monday, and by Tuesday there were already more than 40.

“We do not put them in a shed, but in a church, that is, in the House of the Lord," Mario said.

Volunteers are at the church to help with the somber act of receiving the funeral cars and documents of the deceased.

Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center data shows Italy has eclipsed 80,000 COVID-19 cases as of Thursday, and more than 8,000 have died.

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