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India turns car parks into crematoria amid second wave


Funeral service providers and hospitals in Delhi have been forced to build makeshift funeral pyres in car parks as Covid-19 deaths surge.

People cremate the bodies of victims of the coronavirus at a crematorium ground in New Delhi, April 24. Picture: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui

DEATHS have surged in India due to a second wave of the coronavirus, forcing funeral service providers and hospitals in Delhi to build makeshift funeral pyres in car parks.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), India has recorded 17,636,307 Covid-19 cases and more than 200,000 lives have been lost.

The nation recorded more than 320,000 new infections on Tuesday, with the Guardian publication reporting that experts believe the reported figures are less than the actual number of victims.

“People are just dying, dying and dying,” said Jitender Singh Shanty, a cremations co-ordinator.

“If we get more bodies, then we will cremate on the road… There is no more space here,” he said.

Shanty added that he was co-ordinating more than 100 cremations and that they had not expected to see such horrible scenes.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press conference that the pandemic continues to intensify globally and the situation in India is beyond heartbreaking.

He added that the WHO has provided India with critical equipment and supplies, including oxygen concentrators, prefabricated mobile field hospitals and laboratory supplies, and has redeployed more than 2,600 staff to support the response on the ground.

“Cases have now increased for the ninth straight week, and deaths have increased for the sixth straight week,” said Tedros.

“To put it into perspective, there were almost as many cases globally last week as in the first five months of the pandemic,” he said.

Meanwhile, various countries have pledged to help India, with the United States offering to export AstraZeneca vaccine doses, while China has encouraged its private companies to step up to assist India.

African News Agency (ANA)