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Watch | What is happening in India's crematoriums?

In early March 2021, health bulletins across India started showing an upward trend of COVID-19 cases. Social media was filled with posts asking for help in arranging hospital beds or oxygen cylinders. Now they are asking for cremation spaces.

Due to a lack of resources, the country has witnessed the number of COVID-19 deaths soaring. There are reports of several bodies of COVID-19 victims being stuffed in one ambulance while being taken to crematoriums due to a shortage in ambulances.

There is also a lack of slots in crematoriums in various States leading COVID-19 victims' relatives to take dire measures to bury or cremate their dead.

Also read: Watching a tragedy unfold

Bodies of COVID-19 victims can be seen kept in long queues for hours outside cremation grounds by family members, waiting for their turn. Several crematoriums have been turning away ambulances lined up outside, asking them to try and get a slot elsewhere.

Crematoriums have been running out of space and operating non-stop. Some crematoriums have even been resorting to performing mass cremations to manage the load.

In Himachal Pradesh, there were claims that the body of a COVID-19 victim was carried to the crematorium in a garbage lifting vehicle in Solan district.

While Delhi's first funeral venue for pet animals will be utilised for the last rites of COVID-19 patients and a park has been converted into a cremation ground in south-east Delhi.

Delhi also saw a parking lot being turned into a makeshift crematorium for COVID-19 patients.

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In Hyderabad, workers at cremation grounds are clearing open spaces to carry out funeral rites.

In Karnataka, workers at electric crematoria, who have been taking care of the dead without any break have threatened to stop working unless conditions improve.

In Mumbai, the bodies of 22 COVID-19 victims were stuffed in one ambulance while being taken to a crematorium at Beed in Maharashtra.

In Tamil Nadu, the medical wing of Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam continue the service they started last year - offering a decent burial/cremation to COVID-19 victims.


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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 12:57:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-whats-happening-in-indias-crematoriums/article34540033.ece

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