With the rise in the number of deaths daily due to COVID-19, Surat has become the coronavirus epicentre in Gujarat. On Tuesday, according to the State Health Department’s bulletin, 22 persons died of COVID-19 in Surat, but local officials and sources claimed the actual number was higher.
“It’s mayhem here in the city. The city has never witnessed so many deaths in the last few decades. All crematoria run by the Municipal Corporation, and burial grounds, are working round the clock,” a senior newspaper editor from Surat told The Hindu .
He added that the pandemic had become so widespread in the city that it was impossible to find a bed in any hospital, oxygen supply had almost depleted, and there were no ventilators or other necessary medicines like Remdesivir injections.
A senior government official from the city said that the situation was “alarming” and the second wave was proving more lethal than the first.
The government and the civic body are working to ramp up capacity in creating more beds and other amenities but the efforts are falling short owing to the volume of cases.
“Before the second coronavirus wave, around 20 bodies were cremated at the Kurukshetra crematorium every day. Now, there is a sudden rush of bodies. At present, we are handling about 100 bodies per day,” Kamlesh Sailor, president of a trust which manages the facility, told local news persons.
A similar situation is reportedly facing the Ashvini Kumar crematorium, the oldest such facility in Surat.
“We operate 10 gas furnaces and three wood pyres. Earlier, we used to cremate about 30 bodies every day. Now, the number has gone up to 90-95,” the crematorium’s manager, Prashant Kabrawala, said.
Additionally, the administration has put back in use three previously disused crematoriums in the Pal, Limbayat and Mota Varaccha localities.
A shortage of morgue vans has also been reported.