Updated on: Monday, October 25, 2021, 08:12 PM IST

Mira Bhayandar: Unclaimed ashes of COVID-19 casualties pile-up at crematoriums


More than a year after overcrowded crematoriums across the twin-city painted a horrifying picture of the deadly Covid-19 virus, the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) is now staring at a peculiar situation.

Ashes of several people who lost their lives due to the infection continue to remain unclaimed at crematoriums.

While in some cases family members failed to collect the final remains of the departed soul, there have been instances in which multiple casualties were reported in a single family.

When the pandemic was at its peak last year, several bodies had arrived for cremation. However many of them were not accompanied by family members due to fear of infection.

The last rites of these bodies were done by the staff of the crematorium and their ashes were carefully preserved in urns (marked with the name of the deceased and the date of cremation) so that the families could come later and take the ashes for immersion.

“Yes, it’s true that unclaimed ashes have piled up at the crematoriums. However, the urns have been kept in safe custody as we cannot rule out chances of families approaching us for the ashes in a later stage. A decision on the time-frame of preserving the ashes will be taken after consultations with the municipal commissioner.” confirmed, deputy municipal commissioner-Ajit Muthe.

Some of the urns containing ashes have been lying unclaimed since May-2020 when the first wave of the pandemic was at its peak. Collection of ashes for immersion in rivers is considered to be a very important part of final rituals.

It is likely that the civic administration may decide to shoulder the responsibility of immersing the ashes. While the total death count in the twin-city due to Covid-19 had reached 1,371 till October 25, the case fatality rate (CFR) stands at 2.54 percent.

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Published on: Monday, October 25, 2021, 08:12 PM IST