INDIANS PANIC AS 40 BODIES WASH UP ON BANKS OF GANGES RIVER
Bodies of suspected COVID-19 victims washed up on the banks of the Ganges river in northern India, with the frightening visuals sparking shock among locals as well as on Indian social media, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) reported.
Dozens of bodies were spotted floating in the river at Bihar state’s Chausa town and later piling up on the banks to the horror of residents. Officials claimed the bodies floated down from neighboring Uttar Pradesh state and belong to coronavirus victims whose relatives, being poor, were unable to afford cremation and discarded the remains in the river.
"Some 35-40 bodies were spotted, many of these could be COVID-19 victims. On normal days we see two to three such bodies on this stretch of river, but the number is high because of the deadly outbreak," local official Naval Kant, told dpa on phone from Chausa.
Kant said the bodies were bloated, being in the water for at least four to five days and the administration was disposing of them.
Domestic media reported there was panic in Chausa and neighboring towns about the infection from bodies and the river water.
"People are terrified of getting COVID. We have to bury the bodies," Narendra Kumar, a villager told broadcaster NDTV. The images were also shared on the Indian social media, where users commented about the rising COVID-19 deaths in rural India.
Over the weekend, several partially burnt bodies were spotted in the Yamuna river in Uttar Pradesh's Hamirpur town. Opposition leaders claim the bodies are proof that a substantial number of COVID deaths have gone unregistered. India, currently witnessing the world’s worst outbreak of COVID-19, has a total caseload of over 22.6 million.