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“Varanasi is bleeding”: Families run pillar to post for last rites of Covid victims

Varanasi is the constituency represented in the Parliament by Narendra Modi who incidentally is the Prime Minister of the country

Sunday April 18, 2021 3:06 PM, ummid.com News Network

Varanasi Corona Deaths

Varanasi: Heart-wrenching images and videos have flooded different social media platforms as number of cases and deaths due to Coronavirus diseases are piling up with every passing hour in Varanasi.

Varanasi is the constituency represented in the Parliament by Narendra Modi who incidentally is the Prime Minister of the country. He should be the first to be around in the city to help the devastated families. Instead, he is addressing poll rallies and cheering the huge crowd of people gathered for him in West Bengal.

After Lucknow, it is now the turn of Varanasi where number of Coronavirus cases and deaths are piling up with every passing hour.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is himself in isolation after being tested positive for the deadly disease. Along with him a number of other ministers and officials too have tested Covid positive.
Against this backdrop it appears that the whole Uttar Pradesh healthcare has collapsed and the victims and their families have left at the mercy of extortionists and corrupt functionaries.

Also Read | As Modi, Shah busy in polls, Indians take to social media for ventilator beds, plasma

A number of people sharing their ordeal on the social media have said that they were denied admission in hospitals, ventilator beds are lacking in numbers, oxygen cylinders are out stock, and even the basic and immediate medicines are missing from the shelf.

Some members of the Covid victims said they were being denied funeral in crematoriums. Other who did get the chance for one said they had to wait for long hours and pay a huge sum of money in return.

“I lost my aunt on April 14. Paid 22,000 for cremation at Harishchandra ghat. Lost my grandmother yesterday, paid 30,000. They said forget that day’s rate, can’t you see how many bodies are piled up? Varanasi is bleeding to death. Maa Ganga ka beta isn’t doing anything(sic)”, Utkarsh M, a journalist, wrote on Twitter.

In another image family members of a deceased are helplessly waiting for ambulance.
“Please send an ambulance for last rights at least. Family is devastated. Have been calling helpline numbers. No response”, Jyoti Yadav, another media person, wrote on Twitter.

The state health department is releasing every day the data and figures of people being infected with and dying because of the deadly disease. The government figures however do not match with the actual ground reports and crematorium records.

Also Read | Lucknow Cremation Ground Video takes Twitter by storm

A report by The Wire based on COVID-19 records at Varanasi’s Harishchandra crematorium, local inputs from the Manikarnika crematorium and rough data from graveyards indicate that at least 50% of deaths due to the disease in the second wave haven’t made it to Uttar Pradesh’s official bulletins between April 1 and 15.

Officials of the Varanasi municipal corporation have been cremating the bodies of people who died of COVID-19 in an electric furnace at Harishchandra ghat. The waiting list is long.

In what could be the most devastating video to highlight what could have been the actual situation in Varanasi local journalist Piyush Rai posted a video from Harishchandra Ghat in Varansi. A huge number of funeral pyres can be seen lined up waiting for their turn.

At Manikarnika ghat, members of the Dom community have been cremating almost 150 dead bodies a day for the last week or so, not all of them necessarily of those who died of COVID-19. But the numbers have increased so quickly of late that locals suspect many of the bodies are of COVID-19 victims as well.

Talking to News24, a local resident at the ghat, said he had never seen such a situation before.


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