Indian authorities have put nets up over the Ganges River after bodies of more than 100 COVID-19 victims have washed up — with a viral video seemingly showing ambulance workers dumping some of the dead.
Dozens of decomposing bodies have washed up in just one area in the past two days, putting the total at more than 100 — with others also found in other spots along India’s holiest river.
Mirror Now aired footage it claimed showed ambulance workers from a nearby hospital carrying at least some of the dead to be dumped in the Ganges.
It “clearly” highlighted that “there’s absolutely no dignity in death as far as COVID patients … are concerned,” the newscaster said as the disturbing footage played.
“Stray dogs are devouring these bodies … it will spread the virus,” local activist Ashwini Varmaadded told The Hindu daily.
Bihar’s water resources minister Sanjay Kumar said Wednesday that a “net has been placed” in the river on the state border with Uttar Pradesh, NDTV said. Police patrols were also being increased, he said.
The impoverished state’s government was “pained at both the tragedy as well as harm to the river Ganges,” Kumar said.
Officials believe that the bodies are being dumped because of the high cost of funerals and long lines at cremation grounds.
“It is possible that in hurry some disposed of the bodies in the river like this,” local police official Hitendra Krishna was quoted as saying.
A resident of Chausa told The Telegraph, “During normal times, the crematorium here would usually see between two and three bodies daily. But, the number of dead bodies arriving each day is nearer to 60.”
India’s official COVID-19 death toll soared past 250,000 on Wednesday, but many experts believe the real number is several times higher — with the bodies in the Ganges likely among those not on official counts.
Many victims die without a doctor on hand to issue a death certificate, and COVID-19 is not specified as the cause of death unless the deceased was tested for the disease, which few have been in the nation of 1.4 billion people.
With Post wires
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