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Corona deaths in India: dozens of bodies washed ashore

Dozens of bodies have washed ashore on the Indian river Ganges. Most of the 35 to 40 deaths are probably corona deaths.

(You can find a live ticker on the current developments around the coronavirus worldwide at the end of the report.)

Their relatives were probably too poor to be cremated and therefore put the bodies in the river, said a local official from the German press agency on Tuesday. The corpses would have drifted in the water for four to five days. A few bodies per day through water burials are not uncommon, the official said. In the course of the second corona wave in India, the number is now so high.

Local residents panic

Local media reported that local residents were panicking about contracting the coronavirus from the washed-up bodies. "We have to bury the dead," one villager told NDTV. Images of the situation also made the rounds on social media. Users discussed the rising number of corona deaths in the countryside, where more than half of the Indian population live. There it is more difficult to get good medical treatment and testing facilities.

Already at the weekend there were reports that several half-burned bodies had been sighted in the Yamuna River near the city of Hamirpur. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 22.9 million corona infections have been recorded in the 1.3 billion-inhabitant country. In absolute and known numbers, the country is the second most affected by the pandemic. - dpa