Over 40 Bloated Bodies Of Suspected Covid-19 Victims Found Floating On India’s Ganges River
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More than 40 bloating and decomposing bodies were found washed up on the banks of the Ganges river in northern India on Monday morning (10 May). Many believe the bodies belong to Covid-19 patients that floated down from Uttar Pradesh.
According to NDTV, the bodies, some of which were partially burnt, might have been thrown into the river by families who may have been unable to find space to cremate or bury them. Officials also reported that the bodies may have ended up in the river as part of the practice of cremating victims of Covid-19 along the Ganges river in Uttar Pradesh.
Chausa district official, Ashok Kumar, said that about 40 to 45 bodies were seen floating, but added that there could be closer to 100 bodies. He also said the remains would be buried or cremated.
“They are bloated and have been in the water for at least five to seven days. We are disposing of the bodies. We need to investigate where they are from, which town in Uttar Pradesh – Bahraich or Varanasi or Allahabad,” said another official, KK Upadhyay.
“The bodies are not from here as we don’t have a tradition of disposing of bodies in the river.”
News of the situation has since caused panic in the town and neighbouring villages about infection from the bodies and from the river water.
Meanwhile, local residents and journalists have reported a shortage of wood for cremations and rising costs associated with funerals, which have left families with no choice but to throw the bodies of their loved ones into the river, according to BBC.
“Private hospitals are looting people. Common people are not left with money to pay a priest and spend more on cremation at the river bank. They are asking 2,000 rupees (RM111) just to get the corpse out of the ambulance. The river has become their last recourse so people are immersing corpses in the river,” one local resident said.
The bodies have led to a blame-game between Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
India has reported 22,991,927 Covid-19 cases and 250,025 deaths at the time of writing. However, experts believe the real death toll could be higher.
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