WorldDozens of bodies of victims wash up on the...

Dozens of bodies of victims wash up on the banks of the Ganges

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A person gets tested for Covid-19 in India, in May 2021 (Illustration) – Shaukat Ahmed/Pacific Press/Shut

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Dozens of bodies of people presumed dead from Covid-19 washed up on the banks of the Ganges in northern India this weekend. About forty bodies were stranded in the district of Buxar.

“We ordered the officials concerned to take care of the bodies, and either bury them or burn them,” said a local official. According to some local media, the number of corpses could reach a hundred.

A worrying and still underestimated record

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According to other officials, some bodies are blistered and partially burned. They probably spent several days in the river. Locals believe that these corpses were thrown into the water because the crematoriums are overwhelmed, or because relatives of the victims could not afford the wood needed for the funeral pyres.

The coronavirus pandemic is spreading at full speed across the vast Indian hinterland. The number of contaminations and deaths overwhelms health structures, crematoriums and cemeteries. According to official figures, 4,000 people die each day from Covid-19 in the country, where the total death toll is close to 250,000 deaths.

Many experts consider these figures inferior to reality, citing in particular data from crematoriums. The unaccounted for victims are particularly numerous now that the epidemic outbreak has spread outside the big cities, into rural areas where hospitals are scarce and keep their registers little up to date.

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