Pyres of Covid-19 victims burn at Ghazipur crematorium on Tuesday
NEW DELHI: With novel coronavirus deaths continuing to rise, the public health departments of the municipal corporations have been directed to increase Covid cremation capacity to tackle an inflow of 1,000 bodies a day.
With many of the existing Covid-designated sites already having exhausted their capacity, a 70-pyre-capacity crematorium is being constructed on open ground next to Sarai Kale Khan electric crematorium barely a kilometre away from the Yamuna.
A senior official said that they are witnessing a15% rise in funerals every day and capacities at the existing sites have already been expanded.
Extra funerals at Loha Pul, Sarai Kale Khan
We will extend the funeral platforms along the Yamuna bank near Sarai Kale Khan if the trend continues. For the time being, 50 platforms area being created which will be increased later,” official added.
Meanwhile, the number of Covid-protocol funerals continues to remain higher than the number of deaths recorded in the daily health department bulletins. TOI had earlier reported how daily counts have a difference of 150-200 deaths on a daily basis. In the past one week of lockdown, 3,472 Covid-protocol funerals have taken place, with municipal records stating that 666 funerals took place on Monday, 585 on Saturday, 539 on Friday, 483 on Thursday, 432 on Wednesday, 410 on Tuesday and 357 the Monday before that. The number of deaths in the state bulletin during this period were 2,127. Covid-protocol funerals include both confirmed and suspected cases.
While cremations continued till late night on Tuesday, the 28 Covid-designated funeral centres were about to approach around 700 funerals on Tuesday. A senior official said that 696 such funerals had already been recorded by 6pm. North corporation, which has 14 such centres, had received 307 bodies, SDMC received 318 bodies while EDMC centres received 71.
North corporation mayor Jai Prakash said new sites are continuously being added to the list and additional funerals will be carried out along the Yamuna near Loha Pul. The three municipal corporations have already been forced to make funeral pyre platforms in parks and parking lots along the main cremation centres. The main Covid-protocol burial centre at ITO Feroz Shah Kotla is also running out of space.
A senior civic official said that the current Covid-reserved maximum cremation capacity stands at 882 bodies per day with 29 centres currently on the designated list. “At times we have faced situation in which pyres had to be created in the footpath way area between two pyres. More expansion of the list will be need in coming days,” a funeral manager in EDMC said.