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India is breaking daily records for new COVID-19 cases and the death toll is higher than ever.
Crematoriums are growing in parks and parking lots to cope with the abundance of corpses.
The government has been accused of prematurely easing restrictions and covering up cases.
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Victims of India’s devastating COVID-19 outbreak are being cremated in parking lots, with a crematorium so overwhelmed that it has launched a ticketing system.
Over the past fifteen weeks, India’s number of new daily COVID-19 cases has broken world records, with the country registering thousands of new deaths every day.
Staff at the Seemapuri Crematorium in New Delhi recently erected several additional burning platforms in their parking lot to meet the staggering demand, CNN reported.
Cremation is the standard death rite in Hinduism, the dominant religion of India, and crematoria are under intense pressure.
“Before the pandemic, we cremated 8 to 10 people [a day]Jitender Singh Shunty, head of the Seemapuri crematorium, told CNN. Now we incinerate 100 to 120 per day. “
The crematorium is so busy that families arriving with their deceased parents are now forced to grab a ticket and join a queue to wait their turn, CNN reported.
In the city of Gurgaon in northern Haryana state, staff at the Madanpuri crematorium also turned a parking lot into a temporary cremation site on Monday, The Times of India reported.
“We only have space to cremate 30 bodies at a time,” a crematorium guard told the newspaper. “We were forced to set up 10 platforms in the parking lot.”
In a large crematorium in the state of Western Gujarat, several metal parts are said to have started to melt because they had been in operation for so long.
In an attempt to help overflowing crematoriums, New Delhi authorities are also building makeshift cremation sites in the city’s public parks.
Sarai Kale Khan Crematorium has set up 20 new funeral pyres, The Hindu reported, adding that up to 50 were being erected in local parks.
Some 3,500 people died from COVID-19 on Thursday alone, according to the Times of India, including nearly 400 in New Delhi, a record for the city. Some 370,000 people tested positive for COVID-19 that day, the newspaper reported.
India’s new push has been attributed to a premature easing of restrictions and the rapid spread of new variants, according to experts, who said a slow rollout of vaccines and an ill-prepared health system made matters worse.
The government has been accused of trying to cover up the true scale of the outbreak, as reported by CNN, but the ruling party leader said on Friday he would take full responsibility.
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