With its alarming cases of COVID-19 fatalities, India’s health system is clearly caving in under the pressure of the pandemic.
Worse still, gravediggers are reportedly burning pyre of victims on public pavements just to free up the pressure on the country’s crematoria, which have been working round the clock with cracking chimneys and melting iron frames
On Tuesday, the country recorded another 259,170 cases and 1,761 deaths arising complication of the virus, arguably the world’s highest daily toll.
According to health workers in Delhi, two thirds of their new patients are under-45, while Mumbai doctors disclosed that they are seeing children aged 12 to 15, where there were virtually no child admissions in the first wave.
Daily Mail disclosed that a certain Gujarat hospital was recently compelled to set up the state’s first paediatric coronavirus ward.
A consultant at Mumbai’s P.D. Hinduja National Hospital and a member of Maharashtra’s Covid-19 taskforce, Khusrav Bajan confirmed the report.
‘We are also seeing children under the ages of 12 and 15 being admitted with symptoms in the second wave. Last year there were practically no children,” he said.
It is believed the under-45s may also be more prone to a new ‘double mutant’ variant found in 60 percent of samples in Maharashtra, the hardest-hit state.
The worrisome development has made the country’s health ministry announced that it will roll-out vaccines to over-18s from the start of next month.
However, it is not clear whether India, a country of 1.4 billion, which is the world’s biggest vaccine producer, has anywhere near the supplies it needs.
Meanwhile in the western state of Gujarat, reports said that crematoria in Surat, Rajkot, Jamnagar and Ahmedabad are operating around the clock with three to four times more bodies than normal.
A local official at the Ramnath Ghela Crematorium in the city decried that they have been working round the clock daily following the heap of COVID-19 bodies that are brought in daily.
‘Until last month we were cremating 20-odd bodies per day… But since the beginning of April we have been handling over 80 bodies every day,’
UK Telegraph also reported a situation in two crematoria at the north of Lucknow where relatives are given numbered tokens and made to wait for up to 12 hours.
According to Rohit Singh, whose father died from Covid-19, crematorium officials were charging around 7,000 rupees (£67) – almost 20 times the normal rate.
At a point, some crematoria in Lucknow ran out of wood and asked people to bring it themselves.
As it stands, the rising death toll has clearly increased the grim workload for gravediggers dramatically in the last few weeks.
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