'Children Are Being Cremated. Newlyweds Are Being Cremated'

Overwhelmed crematoriums need more space for funeral pyres in India
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2021 1:34 PM CDT
Bodies Are Being Burned in Delhi's Parks
Multiple funeral pyres of those who died of COVID-19 burn at a ground that has been converted into a crematorium for the mass cremation of coronavirus victims, in New Delhi, India, Saturday, April 24, 2021.   (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

Wondering how severe the COVID-19 situation is in India? Look to its crematoriums, which the BBC reports are so overloaded that funeral pyres are being erected in city parks whose trees are reportedly being cut to provide more wood for the pyres. The BBC points to the Sarai Kale Khan crematorium in the capital of Delhi, which has reportedly built more than two dozen new pyres and is cremating the dead until the midnight hour. Another crematorium is said to have expanded into a parking lot, while Delhi authorities are considering opening up land along the Yamuna river bed for cremations. A report from the AP describes the scene like so: "Outside graveyards in cities like Delhi ... ambulance after ambulance waits in line to cremate the dead. ... glowing funeral pyres blaze through the night."

CNN shares a video taken by drone that shows an expanse of funeral pyres (view it here). The head of a medical center interviewed in the video becomes very emotional, saying, "Children who were 5 years old, 15 years old, 25 years old are being cremated. Newlyweds are being cremated ... and no one is seeing it." The country logged 323,144 new infections on Tuesday, down from more than 350,000 the day prior, though the AP warns the decrease is likely due to a drop in testing over the weekend, not a curtailed spread. The total infection count stands at 17.6 million to the United States' 32.1 million. (More COVID-19 stories.)

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