Bodies of Covid victims wash up on the banks of Ganga river in India as cases surge

Bodies of Covid victims wash up on the banks of Ganga river in India as cases surge
Officials have not confirmed whether the bodies are of Covid-19 patients, however, sightings occured in areas with rising infection rates

Dozens of bodies have been pulled out from the banks of Ganges river in two bordering states of Northern India— suspected to be of Covid-19 patients — as the country’s deadly second wave continues tro ravage the country.

On Tuesday, 100 bodies were found floating in in the Ganges in Uttar Pradesh, northern India, according to media reports. That came after similar sightings in the state of Bihar, in the village Chausa, where bodies of over 40 people were pulled out from the river on Monday. 

Officials have not confirmed whether these bodies are of Covid-19 patients.

Ghazipur’s District Magistrate MP Singh told the ANI news agency that an investigation has been launched to find out where the bodies came from.

“We got the information, our officers are present on the spot and an investigation is underway. We are trying to find out where they came from,” Mr Singh said.

The town of Ghazipur is just 55 kilometres away from Bihar’s Buxar district, where the bodies were found on Monday.

Video of the incident in Chausa’s Mahadev Ghat has gone viral. Several locals quoted in various reports claimed the number of dead bodies was as high as 100, but officials have claimed there were only about 50 dead bodies.

The authorities have said that an autopsy will be done to find out whether these are bodies of Covid-19 patients or not. Locals have, however, accused officials of denial.

“We informed the administration about the matter, but no action has been taken by them. If the situation continues like this, there is fear of us getting infected by coronavirus,” said Akhand, a resident to news agency ANI.

“There is also a shortage of wood and other material required for cremation,” one local who was not named told news agency PTI. “So many bereaved family members are impelled to immerse the bodies of their departed relatives in the river,” he said.

In absence of any Covid protocols at rural crematoriums, there are fears of further spread of the infection through deadbodies if they are dumped in water.

The Ganges river flows through the states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and finally into West Bengal where it empties out into the Bay of Bengal.

India reported 329,000 fresh cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, with 3,876  more people dying of the infection in the last 24 hours.

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