Panic gripped Bihar’s Buxar on Monday after several bloated and decomposed bodies washed up on the banks of Ganga exposing the scale of devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic even as authorities continue to deny any data manipulation.
In a horrific scene, dozens of bodies piled up on the banks of the holy river at Chausa town adjoining the Uttar Pradesh border. The local residents informed the authorities about the bodies, which the latter believe floated down from Uttar Pradesh and belong to COVID patients whose relatives failed to cremate them in the absence of space.
40-45 bodies were seen floating
According to Chausa district official Ashok Kumar who reached the site at Mahadeva Ghat, some 40-45 bodies were seen floating. He said the bodies seem to have been thrown into the river. By some accounts, there could be closer to 100 bodies. Another official, KK Upadhyay said, “They are bloated and have been in the water for at least five to seven days. We need to investigate where they are from, which town in UP.”
A local resident Narendra Kumar said that there is panic in town and adjoining areas as people are afraid of contracting the viral infection from the bodies and the river water. He said, “People are terrified of getting COVID-19. We have to bury the bodies.”
“A district administration official came and said they would pay Rs 500 for cleaning up the bodies,” he told reporters. The bodies have led to a blame game between UP and Bihar.
COVID-19 situation in India
The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the lack of preparedness of the state as well as the Union governments. India is currently struggling to meet a shortage of oxygen, medicines, hospital beds, vaccines and space for cremation. The queues outside hospitals and crematoriums are getting longer.
The health ministry on Monday informed that over 3.66 lakh fresh cases of COVID-19 have been reported in India in the past 24 hours. The addition of the fresh cases has taken the COVID-19 case tally past 2.26 crore.
Also, 3,754 COVID-19 related deaths were reported by the ministry during this period. The addition of the fresh fatalities has taken India’s death toll due to the deadly virus to 2,46,116.
Of the over 2.26 crore coronavirus cases reported so far, over 37.45 lakh are active cases of the virus. It is 16.53 per cent of the total caseload. Interestingly, over 1.86 crore cases have recovered from the viral infection so far.
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