India is being overwhelmed by the New Coronavirus (COVID-19) and most crematoriums are overloaded with bodies lined up for cremation. Authorities are being forced to build more temporary crematoriums in parking lots or parks. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aunt, Narmadaben Modi, also died after contracting the new coronavirus.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aunt died on Tuesday (April 27) while undergoing treatment for the new coronavirus, the Press Trust of India reported, citing members of the prime minister’s family.
Modi’s youngest brother said, “Our aunt was admitted to a civilian hospital after her condition deteriorated about 10 days ago after she contracted the new coronavirus.”
India’s health care system has faltered under a huge wave of neo-coronavirus. A widely circulated video showing the body of a dead New Coronavirus victim falling from a broken ambulance has left netizens stunned.
A medical official later explained that the ambulance was old and had been donated by an unspecified non-governmental organization.
Families complained they were unable to visit or get updates from medical staff, and they were unable to retrieve the bodies of family members themselves, The Indian Express reported.
A local journalist reports that a long line of ambulances carrying bodies awaits cremation outside the crematorium in Bangalore, India, on Tuesday.
Most crematoriums in the capital, New Delhi, are overloaded, forcing people to wait more than 20 hours to cremate the remains of their relatives. Authorities have been forced to build more funeral piles in parking lots or nearby parks, and some reports say officials are also exploring the possibility of setting up new crematoriums near the Yamuna River.
Bodies of New Coronavirus (COVID-19) victims wait in line to be cremated at a crematorium in New Delhi on April 28, 2021. (MONEY SHARMA/AFP via Getty Images)
The sudden spike in the death toll has increased the demand for wood. There are unconfirmed reports that trees are being cut down in New Delhi to provide wood for cremations.
Indian authorities and hospitals are struggling to cope with an unprecedented number of new coronavirus infections and deaths. Official figures on Wednesday showed another record with 360,960 new cases added in the previous 24 hours, while 3,293 more people lost their lives.
In a statement Wednesday, the White House announced that the U.S. is sending more than $100 million worth of supplies to India in response to the new coronavirus, with supplies to begin arriving Thursday and continue through next week.