Maharashtra on Wednesday recorded 59,907 new Covid-19 cases and reported 322 deaths. The sudden surge in cases has put immense pressure on the existing health infrastructure in the state.
In one such instance, eight bodies of COVID-19 victims were cremated on a single pyre in Maharashtra’s Beed district due to a shortage of space at a makeshift crematorium, as informed by a civic official. Similar instances are being reported from other cities as well.
Ambajogai Municipal Council’s chief officer Ashok Sabale told PTI, “As residents objected to the cremation of COVID-19 victims in the crematoriums which we currently have, we identified a separate space on Mandwa road, nearly two kilometres away from the town. The new makeshift facility has limited space.” “As a result, we had to set up one large pyre and cremate eight bodies on Tuesday. It was a big pyre and the bodies were kept at a certain distance from each other,” the official informed further.
Amongst the dead, one was a woman below the age of 60, while the others were 60 years and above.
Considering the rise in cases and therefore expecting an increase in mortality rate, the official informed that they are planning to expand the makeshift facility and make it waterproof before the monsoon season. The official urged people to seek timely treatment to avoid complexities.
The Ambajogai block in Beed has become the new corona hotspot with 500 cases reported in just four days. The local administration has imposed a lockdown of 10 days in the district.
VHP leader, Vinod Bansal condemned the act in a tweet and questioned the Maharashtra government asking if it would have meted out a similar treatment if the deceased were from any other religion.
महाराष्ट्र की बीड जिले में 8 #COVID19 संक्रमित हिन्दू शवों को प्रशासन ने एक ही चिता में जला दिया, दलील दी कि जगह कम थी।— विनोद बंसल (@vinod_bansal) April 8, 2021
ये शव यदि मुसलमानों या ईसाइयों के होते तब भी क्या एक ही कब्र में दफनाने की जुर्रत किसी की होती..!!@OfficeofUT जी कृपया बताएं.. pic.twitter.com/uVK0lbTdNL
Lack of space in Aurangabad crematorium, no wood for the fire in Bhusawal
A shortage of space has been reported in a crematorium in Aurangabad. As per a TV9 report, pyres have to be set on fire even before the previous one extinguishes completely.
The city of Bhusawal located in the Jalgaon district has reported a shortage of dry wood to light the pyre of the deceased. The cremation ground near the Tapi River which usually cremates ten to fifteen bodies every day is experiencing a sharp rise in numbers. As the funeral is being delayed due to lack of wood, relatives of the deceased have to queue up and wait for hours to perform the final rites.
Possibility of a new strain in Maharashtra
Maharashtra’s Health Minister Rajesh Tope informed that there is a possibility of a new strain of the Covid-19 virus in the state. The samples have been sent to the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) for examination. The state has also asked if a change in treatment would be required to treat corona patients in Maharashtra.