Italy has registered 475 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, the highest official toll for one day of any country since the first case was discovered in China late last year.
Total fatalities in Italy have amounted to 2,978 while the number of infected people tallied up to 35,713.
Italians have called the photo of the column of army trucks transporting the dead out of Bergamo on Wednesday night as "one of the saddest photos in the history of our country."
Italy ordered the army to move the dead bodies from a northern town at the center of the coronavirus pandemic where funeral services have been overwhelmed. This is while the government prepared to prolong emergency lockdown measures across the nation.
Unfortunately, Bergamo's cemetery can no longer cope with the rising death toll in the city.
According to a study by the country's health service, 99 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Italy are patients with pre-existing health problems. Out of 355 fatalities, three of the victims or 0.8 percent had been clear of past illnesses before they contracted the coronavirus.
On Sunday, the previous record high of 368 deaths also originated from Italy.
The nation of 60 million has now registered 34.2 percent of the total of fatalities officially attributed to the novel coronavirus across the world.
According to an army spokesman,15 trucks and 50 soldiers had been designated to transfer bodies to nearby provinces.
Local authorities in Bergamo had urgently requested for help with cremations after they had swamped its crematorium.
Mortuaries are full and crematorium staff has been assigned 24 bodies daily, including the regular surge of non-virus deaths. This was the reason virus victims' bodies have had to be dispatched to nearby provinces.
Bergamo is the worst-hit province with over 4,000 cases tallied.
Two-thirds of the deaths -- 1,959 in total -- were reported to come from the northern Lombardy region around Milan, the financial and fashion capital of Italy.
The Emilia-Romagna region of Bologna has suffered 458 deaths while Turin's Piedmont region has had 154 deaths.
The Lazio region of Rome has registered 32 fatalities and 724 infections.
Italy implemented virtual lockdown before other countries in Europe but with the steady rate of the cases, the government is considering stricter measures that would further inhibit the limited amount of outdoor movement currently permitted.
The National Research Council (CNR) of Italy said it expects a "significant reduction" in the growth rate of citizens diagnosed in the Lombardy region by next Tuesday or Wednesday.
A video from one overcrowded Bergamo hospital showed patients lying on hospital beds in an intensive care unit.
According to Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, his government would extend the deadline on current emergency guidelines closing schools and businesses. The measures currently impose that most shops will stay closed until at least March 25 and schools till April 3.
The country has recorded 4,207 infections from the virus on Mar. 18.