There has been a unusual spike in burials in Muslim graveyards in Malegaon, Maharashtra. According to an Indian Express report, despite a lower death toll due to Chinese coronavirus in Malegaon, there has been an unusual increase in number of burials in Muslim graveyards. In April 2020, the civic records show burials of 580 people, which was 277 in 2019. This figure also shows a jump of 48% as compared to March figures.
Bada Kabrastan, Malegaon’s biggest burial ground, saw highest number of 457 burials in April 2020. This figure stood at 140 in April 2019. Last Thursday, Indian Express counted 9 bodies were brought in at Bada Kabrastan within two hours only. According to the burial ground administration, there are 6-7 burials on a normal day. However, since past few days the Bada Kabrastan saw over 30 burials each day. The number of cremations, on the other hand, have remained more or less stable at 26 in April 2020 as compared to 22 in April 2019. It is estimated that almost 80% of Malegaon population consists of Muslims.
Health officials have decided to randomly check family members of the ones who were buried for coronavirus to see if they are carrying possible infection.
Coronavirus in Malegaon
The first case of coronavirus in Malegaon was reported on 8th April. As per ABP News, 27 new cases were reported from Malegaon, taking the total figure to 325. Nashik has total coronavirus positive figure at 360. As per reports, Malegaon has registered 12 coronavirus-related deaths till now.
Mass graves in Malegaon
On April 23, Dainik Bhaskar reported that Muslim burials at the Bada Kabrastan in Malegaon had tripled more than the average since April 15. Usually, 7-8 burials take place in a day at the said cemetery. But, the cemetery administration had observed an increase of masses. Until April 23 when 8 cases of Coronavirus deaths were reported, burials had been conducted for a whopping 221 people.
Dr Shafiq Ansari who serves as the Councilor of Malegaon Municipality has however claimed that the increasing number of deaths is that of high blood pressure and diabetes patients who could not seek immediate medical care, owing to the Coronavirus lockdown.
Surge in Muslim Burials in Indore
Earlier, a steep rise in the number of dead bodies brought for burial in Muslim graveyards was witnessed in Indore. Between April 1-6, 127 dead bodies were buried in four graveyards. The same figure was 130 for the whole of March. While there were dead bodies cremated in Hindu crematoriums, the figures have been consistent with previous months with no abnormal increase.
According to a Dainik Bhaskar report, the register maintained at the graveyards mention cause of death such as blood pressure, diabetes, etc, the comparison with March figures were quite alarming. The Mahu Naka Muslim graveyard had reported 46 burials in March while the figure was 42 between 1-6 April. The Bhaskar report further reveals that in the case of deaths, despite travel history and symptoms, the samples were not taken of the deceased.