Udayavni Special

Net across Ganges to catch suspected Covid-19 corpses


PTI, May 12, 2021, 2:49 PM IST

 

New Delhi: Authorities in northern India said they have installed a net across the Ganges river after the bodies of dozens of suspected Covid-19 victims washed up.

The discovery of 71 corpses in Bihar state stoked fears that the virus was raging unseen in India’s vast rural hinterland where two-thirds of its people live.

Locals suggested to AFP that relatives immersed the bodies in the river because they could not afford wood for traditional cremations or because crematoriums were overwhelmed by the number of funerals.

Bihar’s water resources minister Sanjay Kumar said on Twitter on Wednesday that a “net has been placed” in the river on the state border with Uttar Pradesh and patrolling increased.

He said the state government was “pained at both the tragedy as well as harm to the river Ganges”.

Kumar added that postmortems confirmed that the bodies were four to five days old.

Press reports said as many as 25 bodies had also been recovered in the Gahmar district of Uttar Pradesh.

The Hindu daily quoted a local police official there as saying there were long queues at cremation grounds in the northern state.

“It is possible that some disposed of the bodies in hurry in the river like this,” the cop was quoted as saying.

India’s official Covid-19 death toll soared past a quarter of a million on Wednesday, but many experts believe the real number is several times higher.

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