The Star Early Edition

Bodies wash up on Ganges banks


SCORES of bodies are washing up on the banks of the Ganges amid deaths and cremations in India of around 4 000 people a day from the novel coronaviru­s.

India now accounts for one in three reported virus deaths across the world, a Reuters tally shows. Its health system is overwhelme­d, despite internatio­nal donations of oxygen cylinders.

Rural parts of India are now also running short of wood for traditiona­l Hindu cremations. Authoritie­s said yesterday they were investigat­ing the discovery of scores of bodies floating down the Ganges in two separate states. “It is very difficult to say where these dead bodies have come from,” said M P Singh, the top government official in Ghazipur district, in Uttar Pradesh. Akhand Pratap, a local resident, said “people are immersing bodies in the Ganges instead of cremation over a shortage of cremation wood”.

Daily infections hit a record 390 995 yesterday. Deaths are at just under a quarter of a million. .

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