Bodies found dumped in Ganges River in India amid COVID-19 crisis – New York Post

Dozens of rotting bodies were discovered floating in the Ganges River in India on Monday as the country’s COVID-19 crisis overwhelmed crematoriums and burial grounds.

At least 40 bodies washed ashore on the banks near the border between the Bihar and Uttar Pradesh districts, the Agence France-Presse reported.

“We have directed concerned officials to dispose of all bodies, to either bury or cremate them,” Ashok Kumar, a local official in Chausa, told the outlet.

There are concerns that the bodies may be people who succumbed to COVID-19 and then were dumped in the river by grieving loved ones, the Tribune India reported.

“There is also a shortage of wood and other material required for cremation. Availability of these has taken a hit because of the lockdown,” said one local, adding that families have been forced to dump the “bodies of their departed relatives in the river.”

Family members and relatives are seen around the burning pyres of victims who lost their lives due to COVID-19 at Daraganj Ghat.
Family members and relatives are seen around the burning pyres of victims who lost their lives due to COVID-19 at Daraganj Ghat.
AFP via Getty Images

Disturbing footage posted Monday to Twitter purported to show the corpses, some of which appeared to be rotting and partially burned, near the banks of the river.

Local media reports have suggested there were as many as 100 bodies, some of which could have been in the river for several days.

But Kumar said officials have yet to confirm that they were victims of coronavirus.

“We cannot confirm whether the deceased were indeed COVID-19-positive. The bodies have started decomposing,” Kumar told the Tribune India.

The sun sets by the Ganga river, seen from Digha Ghat.
One concern about the bodies found in the river is that family members are disposing of relatives who passed away due to COVID-19.
Hindustan Times via Getty Images

“But we are taking all precautions while ensuring that these are disposed of in a decent manner.”

Kumar did say many districts are situated across from the river and “the bodies may have been dumped in the Ganges.”

Other locals speculated that local governments have played a role in disposing of the bodies in the water.

“What indeed happens is that the officials develop cold feet later and fearing that they might catch the infection themselves, they dump the bodies in the river and flee. Little do they realize that they are also polluting the river,” another local told the Tribune India.

An Indian fisherman wades through shallow waters to reach the banks of the river Ganges after sundown in Bhagalpur in the eastern Indian state of Bihar.
A local official indicated that an order was issued to dispose of all bodies, either through cremation or burial.
AP

India has been grappling with an explosion in COVID-19 cases, which have overwhelmed the health care system.

The country has logged more than 22.6 million cases, including 246,000 deaths, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

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Bodies found dumped in Ganges River in India amid COVID-19 crisis – New York Post

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