Indian crematorium overwhelmed by the virus as “swallowing people”

New Delhi (AP) — India’s crematoriums and burial grounds tear populous countries at a terrifying rate, depleting life-saving oxygen supplies to critical levels and waiting in line Overwhelmed by the proliferation of catastrophic new infections that can kill patients. To see a doctor.

For the fourth consecutive day, India set a global daily record of new infections on Sunday, undermining the government’s premature victory claim over a pandemic and being stimulated by the insidious new variants that emerged here. I did.

With 349,691 cases identified over the past day, India’s total exceeds 16.9 million, second only to the United States. The Ministry of Health has reported an additional 2,767 deaths in the last 24 hours, pushing India’s COVID-19 deaths to 192,311.

Experts say that tolls can be very underestimated, as no suspicious cases are included and many deaths from infections are due to the underlying condition.

The crisis in India is most visceral in the tragic image of gasping patients dying on their way to hospitals due to graveyards, crematoriums, and lack of oxygen.

The burial grounds of New Delhi, the capital of India, lack space, and brightly shining funeral mountains illuminate the night sky of other heavily hit cities.

In the center of Bhopal, the capacity of crematoriums has increased from dozens to more than 50. Still, officials say you still have to wait for hours.

At the city’s Bhadbhada Vishram Ghat crematorium, 1.8 million governments across the city said the death toll was only 10, but workers cremated more than 110 on Saturday.

“The virus is swallowing the people of our city like a monster,” said Mamtesh Sharma, a site official.

The unprecedented surge in body forced the crematorium to skip individual and thorough rituals that Hindus believed to free their souls from the cycle of rebirth.

“I’m just burning the body that arrived,” Sharma said. “It’s like being in the middle of a war.”

A digger at New Delhi’s largest Muslim cemetery, where 1,000 people were buried during the pandemic, said more bodies had arrived than last year. “We are worried that we will soon run out of space,” said Mohammad Shamime.

The situation is equally harsh in unbearably packed hospitals, with desperate people lining up, sometimes on the roads outside, waiting to see a doctor and dying.

Health officials are struggling to expand their critical care units and stock up on a diminishing oxygen supply. Hospitals and patients alike struggle to procure rare medical devices sold with exponential markup.

The crisis is the exact opposite of the government’s claim that “no one in the country was left without oxygen” in a statement made Saturday by General Tushar Mehta of India at the High Court of Delhi.

The collapse was for a country that declared its prime minister victory over COVID-19 in January and boasted to be a global producer of vaccines and a model for other developing countries, the “world pharmacy.” Is a big mistake.

The federal government has urged businessmen to increase production of oxygen and other life-saving drugs that are deficient, distracted by the recent fatal surge. However, according to health experts, India spent a full year preparing for the inevitable situation, but it wasn’t.

Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, an assistant professor of medicine in the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Medical University of South Carolina, said the Indian government was “not aggressive and very responsive to this situation.”

She said the government used last year when the virus was more controlled to develop plans to deal with the surge, “stockpiling medicines to support the production of essential resources in these situations. We should have developed a public-private partnership. ” .. “

“Most importantly, they should have seen what was happening in other parts of the world and understood that it was only a matter of time before the situation was similar,” Kuppari said. It was.

Kuppalli called the government’s premature declaration of victory over the pandemic a “wrong story.” This encouraged people to adhere to physical distances, wear masks, and relax health measures when large numbers of people should be avoided.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is faced with growing criticism of attending a huge election rally that allowed Hindu festivals and experts suspected of accelerating the spread of the infection.

His Hindu nationalist government is trying to quell criticism.

On Saturday, at the request of the government, Twitter blocked Indians from viewing more than 50 tweets that appeared to criticize the government’s response to the pandemic. Target posts include tweets from opposition ministers, journalists, and general Indians who criticize Modi.

A Twitter spokeswoman said he had the authority to “refrain from accessing the content only in India” if the company determined that the content was “illegal in certain jurisdictions.” The company said it had responded to government orders and notified people who withheld tweets.

The Indian Ministry of Information Technology did not respond to requests for comment.


Hussein was reported by Srinagar, India.