India’s coronavirus outbreak has gotten so dire that it is unable to cremate COVID-19 victims fast enough in an effort to stem the spread of the virus, causing dead corpses to pile up.
The demand for cremation, which is considered a sacred Hindu funeral right in the country, forced crematoriums to expand platforms into nearby parking lots, CNN reported Friday. Families must now get a ticket and wait in a queue for their turn, as cremation numbers surge.
“Before the pandemic, we used to cremate eight to 10 people [daily], now, we are cremating 100 to 120 a day,” Jitender Singh Shunty, the head of the Seemapuri crematorium in eastern New Delhi, told CNN.
Hospitals are full, oxygen supplies are dwindling and ceaseless fires burn at crematoriums, where families forgo traditional ceremonies to make space for more bodies. https://t.co/JiI1A3DDgL
— ABC News (@ABC) April 29, 2021
New Delhi authorities are reportedly building new temporary crematorium sites in city parks to aid in the effort. Meanwhile, wood supply runs low due to the sheer number of cremations, CNN reported. (RELATED: Medical Experts Predict An Increase In Cancer Deaths Due To COVID)
In one case, a large crematorium in the state of Gujarat ran for so long that several metal parts melted due to the heat from the fires, according to Yahoo News.
“We are just burning bodies as they arrive.”
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) April 26, 2021
President Joe Biden promised to send aid to India, including ventilators and medical oxygen to the country, as COVID-19 cases overwhelm hospitals. India still sees hundreds of thousands of cases per day, with recent case totals surpassing 300,000, according to CNN.