AT least 30 new graves are being dug in Falmouth Cemetery in preparation for the increase in deaths caused by coronavirus.

Workers have been spotted in the cemetery in Ferndale Road in recent days, sparking speculation as to what they were doing. 

Simon Penna, Falmouth Town Council's grounds and facilities manager, told the Packet: 

“Falmouth Town Council has taken the decision based upon the principle that “it is always best to be prepared for the worst” to pre-prepare a number of graves to deal with the well-publicised increased amount of deaths that sadly will be caused by the coronavirus.

"This is not a knee-jerk reaction, but a decision based upon national guidance to those who have to deal with this outcome, such as funeral directors and burial authorities.

Thirty new graves will be prepared initially, but Mr Penna said that number will be constantly reviewed, based upon the projected figure over a 16-week period starting on Monday, April 6.

Mr Penna added: "The council recognises that there is a real possibility that its own staff that carry out interments might also fall victim to the virus, and would not like that to impact on those families who wish for their deceased loved ones to be buried in their own town.“ 

National forecasts predict that the greatest number of deaths will take place around six to seven weeks after the start of the critical period in April, meaning that the outbreak is expected to reach its peak in mid to late May.

Falmouth Town Council is the local burial authority and manages the cemetery at Swanvale.