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Coronavirus: Horrifying moment forklift loads dead bodies into refrigerated truck

 Dead bodies were seen being loaded onto a refrigerated truck by a forklift.

Dead bodies were seen being loaded onto a refrigerated truck by a forklift outside a New York hospital as the coronavirus pandemic continues to escalate.

Disturbing footage has emerged from outside Brooklyn Hospital in New York City where Covid-19 has claimed 790 people, while more than 36,000 have contracted the disease.

Hours earlier, a photo shared online had shown a similar scene at a different hospital, while pop-up morgues and hospitals are being constructed.

The last time anything like this has been seen in the east coast city was after the terror attacks on September 11, 2001.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus- Trump offers German lab cash to 'make vaccine exclusive to the US'

Crews on Sunday started assembling triage tents outside New York City hospitals that are already overwhelmed by coronavirus victims.

The pandemic is set to peak in New York City in the coming weeks, with medical chiefs desperate to prepare the already stretched hospital system - with temporary facilities being set up outside six hospitals, including one in Long Island.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the leading US government infectious disease expert, has warned other American cities could see similar outbreaks to epicentre NYC.

 Refrigerated trucks have been spotted at different locations to transport dead bodies. Photo: Getty Images.

The doctor said he fears for the likes of Detroit and Los Angeles - though it is News Orelans, where 73 have already died, which is the main candidate for the next hotspot.

Over the weekend, a photo taken by an NYC medical professional at the end of his shift was also shared from inside a truck filled with body bags.

The 38-year-old told Buzzfeed: "It is the ghastly reality of what we deal with and where some of us have ended up already," he said.

READ ALSO: 82,000- U.S. has most coronavirus cases in the world

He said one of the victims was a female patient he had comforted, remaining with her until she took her "last breath" - the first time he'd done that during the crisis.

The city's largest borough, Queens has seen its case toll hit double figures at over 10,000, followed closely by Brooklyn, The Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island.

Across New York State more than 1,000 people have died from coronavirus with confirmed cases at 59,513.

Yesterday, the US death toll hit more than 2,500 with cases topping 142,000.

 An image taken by a nurse from inside a refrigerated truck lined by Covid-19 victims. Photo:Twitter.

Donald Trump has extended social distancing guidelines until the end of April.

The US president, who had faced criticism earlier this month for suggesting he would re-open the country by Easter, has since U-turned.

On Sunday Mr Trump said if deaths stayed under 200,000, he would consider that he'd done a "good job".

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