Morgues overflow


Bodies of Covid-19 victims have been piling up in mortuaries and crematoriums in Raipur, as the Chhattisgarh administration struggles to deal with the sudden surge in cases of the viral infection and fatalities.

In some videos on social media, bodies were seen lying on stretchers outside the mortuary of Raipur’s Dr BR Ambedkar Memorial Hospital (DBRAMH), the state’s biggest government-run hospital, and last rites of victims being performed from morning till late night in crematoriums here.

Talking to PTI on Tuesday, state Health Minister TS Singh Deo said the overall situation is “very concerning” and the sudden rise in Covid-19 cases and deaths has posed a challenge for authorities. “The district administration and the municipal corporation have been asked to ensure the bodies are cremated at the earliest,” he said.

The situation was also grim in neighbouring Durg district. Since April 1, 861 people have died due to Covid-19 in Chhattisgarh, with Raipur reporting 305 fatalities and Durg 213, as per official data.

The minister said there is generally no delay in the cremation of bodies of Covid-19 victims belonging to Raipur. But, for victims hailing from other districts who succumbed in hospitals here, it takes some time for completing the process of shifting the bodies to their respective places, he said.

An official from the Raipur Municipal Corporation official said since the last couple of days, the last rites of about 100 victims were being performed every day in crematoriums and burial grounds here.

Patients with various ailments, including Covid-19, were being treated in the DBRMAH. The bodies of non-Covid patients and those related to medico-legal cases were also kept in the hospital's mortuary, Raipur's Additional Municipal Commissioner Pulak Bhattacharya said.

The bodies of victims hailing from other districts were are kept in the Raipur hospital’s mortuary before being shifted to their native places, he said.

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