Ambulances carrying corpses lined up for hours outside the main crematorium in New Delhi, as the number of deaths due to Covid-19 continued to rise.
At the Nigambodh Ghat crematorium on the banks of the Yamuna River, relatives and staff said the shortage of trained medical professionals on handling the body led to delays.
Amidst the 47 degree Celsius heat of the Indian summer, the ash jars were removed from the pyre. Surendra Mohan Gupta, brother of a 50-year-old victim, said the family spent up to 20,000 rupees ($ 265) to hire a private ambulance to take the body to the crematorium.
“It’s very expensive but we are still waiting for them,” he said, when other family members argued with cremation officials about the delay.
“The body must be in an ambulance until they call our order. Sometimes I have to wait almost 5 hours,” said a driver, Jai Kumar, sweat poured out with rubber gloves. .
According to Hindustan Times, on 28/5, the crematorium had to return 8 bodies to Lok Nayak hospital after 4 out of 6 electric incinerators were broken. They were forced to switch to a traditional wood-burning pyre and currently only handle 20 bodies a day.
Lok Nayak is the largest hospital treating Covid-19 in New Delhi. Inside the morgue of this facility there are 108 bodies. All 80 compartments are closed, the remaining 28 bodies lie on the floor, one on top of the other. A hospital employee said some of the victims had died for five days but had not been cremated.
India’s Ministry of Health on Friday said the country had recorded more than 198,000 nCoV infections, surpassing France and becoming the seventh largest epidemic region in the world, of which more than 5,600 died.
The Indian government is easing blockade measures that lasted two months, which has left millions out of work. Many experts criticize the nationwide blockade measure that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has failed to prevent infecting in the community but also caused severe damage to the economy.
Yesterday, thousands of people, mostly migrant workers and their families, took 200 trains leaving cities like New Delhi and Mumbai to return home.