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Bodies float down Ganges as nearly 4,000 more die of COVID in India

Stock MarketsMay 11, 2021 06:27PM ET
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5/5 © Reuters. A municipal worker sprays disinfectant on the bodies of victims who died due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at a crematorium in New Delhi, India, May 10, 2021. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi 2/5

By Saurabh Sharma

LUCKNOW, India (Reuters) -Scores of bodies are washing up on the banks of the Ganges as Indians fail to keep pace with the deaths and cremations of around 4,000 people a day from the novel coronavirus.

India currently accounts for one in three of the reported deaths from coronavirus around the world, according to a Reuters tally, and its health system is overwhelmed, despite donations of oxygen cylinders and other medical equipment from around the world.

Rural parts of India not only have more rudimentary healthcare, but are now also running short of wood for traditional Hindu cremations.

Authorities said on Tuesday they were investigating the discovery of scores of bodies found floating down the Ganges in two separate states.

"As of now it is very difficult for us to say where these dead bodies have come from," said M P Singh, the top government official in Ghazipur district, in Uttar Pradesh.

Akhand Pratap, a local resident, said that "people are immersing bodies in the holy Ganges river instead of cremation because of shortage of cremation wood".

Even in the capital, New Delhi, many COVID victims are abandoned by their relatives after cremation, leaving volunteers to wash the ashes, pray over them, and then take them to scatter into the river in the holy city of Haridwar, 180 km (110 miles) away.

"Our organisation collects these remains from all the crematoriums and performs the last rituals in Haridwar so that they can achieve salvation," said Ashish Kashyap, a volunteer from the charity Shri Deodhan Sewa Samiti.

QUARTER OF A MILLION DEAD

The seven-day average of daily infections hit a record 390,995 on Tuesday, with 3,876 deaths, according to the health ministry.

Official COVID-19 deaths, which experts say are almost certainly under-reported, stand at just under a quarter of a million.

The World Health Organization said on Monday that it regarded the coronavirus variant first identified in India last year as a variant of global concern, with some preliminary studies showing that it spreads more easily.

Late that day, 11 people died in the government SVR Ruia hospital in the southern city of Tirupati because a tanker carrying oxygen arrived late.

"There were issues with oxygen pressure due to low availability. It all happened within a span of five minutes," said M Harinarayan, the district's senior civil servant.

Vaccines are also running short, especially in Maharashtra state around the financial centre of Mumbai, and in the capital, Delhi, two of India's hardest-hit regions.

"We are ready to buy doses, but they are not available right now," Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope told reporters.

India's second wave of the pandemic has increased calls for a nationwide lockdown and prompted more and more states to impose tougher restrictions that have hurt businesses and the wider economy.

Production of the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 12 at a Foxconn factory in the southern state of Tamil Nadu has slumped by more than half because workers have been infected with COVID-19, two sources told Reuters.

Bodies float down Ganges as nearly 4,000 more die of COVID in India
 

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Comments (6)
Anthony Anthony
Anthony Anthony May 11, 2021 9:38PM ET
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Yuck. Soak ur new iPhone in alcohol before using it.
Rahul Mishra
Rahul Mishra May 11, 2021 10:55AM ET
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I see that it's funny to some of you. don't worry, karma and covid will catch up with you guys.regardsRahul Mishracurrently living in New Delhi
danny Levine
danny Levine May 11, 2021 9:50AM ET
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environmental groups didn't criticize india for dumping bodies into the river? double standard much?
Patron Silver
Patron Silver May 11, 2021 9:46AM ET
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where are the ape-man supporters calling this the flu
Neicu Sorin
Neicu Sorin May 11, 2021 9:46AM ET
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24 milion cases and 250.000 dead....its like 1 percent. I had this virus and it was like flu.
Neicu Sorin
Neicu Sorin May 11, 2021 9:46AM ET
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And im not ape
Patron Silver
Patron Silver May 11, 2021 9:46AM ET
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ur numbers are all wrong. u must be having covid brain fog
Neicu Sorin
Neicu Sorin May 11, 2021 9:46AM ET
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These are numbers for India, and are corect. Inform yourself before spreading lied.
Patron Silver
Patron Silver May 11, 2021 9:46AM ET
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Neicu Sorin I see numbers are not your strong suit. I typical have to educate ape-man supporters and you are no different. Global flu death is around 646,000 and its high estimates. Covid is at 3.3Million and counting. I don't care about local numbers. Viruses doesn't know borders.
YouTube Account
YouTube Account May 11, 2021 9:43AM ET
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They will not let the narrative go. "covid" spreads around the world in 2020, India gets huge vaxx rollout in early 2021, *then* they get massive death tolls? Yeah, they are dying of a "super double triple mutant variant strain" ----- Ooooh, so scary!!
Dawei Liu
Dawei Liu May 11, 2021 4:09AM ET
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Doctors in the country had to warn against the practice of using cow dung in the belief it will ward off COVID-19, saying there is no scientific evidence for its effectiveness and that it risks spreading other diseases
 
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