Around 10 am on Wednesday morning, a count of 15 ambulances were waiting before the gate of Kundlu crematorium in Bengaluru, along with a few family members in each one of them.
Just like other crematoria in the city, it has been busier than ever.
Chandru, a staff member from the electric crematorium, experiences severe fatigue and barely gets a few hours to sleep with the increase in the death toll. He said, “We cremated 33 bodies and 25 were Covid deaths.”
Much similar exhaustion is over other staff employees at the crematorium, as they have been working round the clock, with the last cremation happening at 06.30 am in the morning. Around 210-220 from the total 250 cremation at the facility since April have been infected with Covid-19.
For the Medina Agrahara crematorium, the employees put forth a ledger of cremation maintained. Ravish (name changed) said, “Before the second wave in April, the highest cremations were in September 2020 when we cremated 548 bodies, of which 529 were from Covid.” The figures dropped to nine (from the 61 cremations) in February.
He further said, “Till April 20, we have cremated 296 bodies of which 254 were Covid victims.” The facility conducted a cremation of 42 bodies on April 20, which indicates the severity of the deadly pandemic.
Around 500 victims were cremated in just two crematoria of Bengaluru raises a dilemma over the government’s released data on toll count of 752 deaths. An activist, wanting to be anonymous stated, “Several patients cremated or buried with Covid regulations include those who could not find hospitals. We are not sure whether these deaths figure in the bulletin released by the state yet.”
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