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'Bells constantly toll for dead' - teacher in Italy

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Cemetery worker in Bergamo, Italy

Cemetery worker in Bergamo, Italy

REUTERS

Cemetery worker in Bergamo, Italy

A teacher from Derry who endures the continuous sound of church bells tolling for the dead in northern Italy has urged people in her native city to stay indoors.

Fionnuala Crabtree is in lockdown in the walled city of Bergamo (inset), near Milan.

The Bergamo area has been hardest-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic which has swept the country.

"We sit in our apartments and listen to the continuous sound of sirens and the church bells that mark the mourning of so many loved ones in our city," Ms Crabtree said.

"I don't want to ever have to correlate my experience here with the virus to that of my beautiful city of Derry, so please do your bit and protect your community," she added.

Bergamo has a similar population to the greater Derry area.

SACRIFICE

"Bergamo hospitals can no longer cope with the number of cases," Ms Crabtree added.

"The army has been deployed and the crematoriums are full."

She urged people in Derry to socially distance and follow all the public health advice.

"A little sacrifice now will go a long way in protecting the town that we all love so well," she said.