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Bengaluru’s devastating COVID surge: no space for the dead (TW)

Gravediggers are complaining about space running out in the crematoriums of Bangalore. They have requested many families to opt for cremation who traditionally bury their dead. These people work around the clock as dead bodies keep being sent from the hospitals; for many of them their salaries have not been cleared for several months and they sustain themselves. It takes at least two hours to dig a grave and given the number of bodies they need to bury every day, the workers can barely ensure a proper burial let alone catch their breath for a few minutes. As for the crematoriums, the work has been overwhelming too, as the parking lots are also witnessing funerals with one of the crematoriums being forced to put a ‘houseful’ board on the gate at one point. The Chamrajpete crematorium had run out of both space and firewood to cremate, even though COVID-bodies and non-COVID bodies were being cremated separately. Long wisps of smoke rise from the bodies as they are cremated. Outside, the families wait in their cars wearing PPE kits, unable to witness the cremation. Bengaluru’s deaths are going through the roof, and the death-rate situation is alarming. Bengaluru, as one of the most populous cities in the country. has been one of the hardest hit by the second wave of the coronavirus. On May 7, the Karnataka government reported a positivity rate of over 30 percent, and reported nearly 49,000 new cases of coronavirus, of which over 21,000 were from Bengaluru alone. Watch the ground report from Bengaluru by Alithea Stephanie Mounika
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