By Associated Press

Dozens more bodies of Covid victims in India washed up on the banks of the Ganges on Tuesday, as ambulance drivers were spotted dumping corpses into the water.

Relatives gather around the body of a man on the banks of the Ganges River, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India.
DANISH SIDDIQUI/Reuters

The infected bodies surfaced in the river along the border of the northern states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, which the Ganges run through.

Bodies of suspected COVID-19 victims wash up on Ganges riverbanks

Officials in Bihar have said that it had counted 71 bodies washed up on the banks of the river, and blamed its Uttar Pradesh neighbor for them.

A video reportedly showing bodies thrown into the water by ambulance drivers was shared widely on social media, and was picked up by local news outlets.

On Tuesday, India recorded another 3,876 Covid-deaths in the previous 24 hours, and a further 329,942 cases

Another showed the bodies washed up on the shores of the Ganges, with wild dogs walking in the shallows and sniffing at the victims.

People have reacted with horror to the footage, partly out of fear that relatives could not carry out the sacred funeral rites for their loved ones.

Locals have suggested that people were immersing the bodies of relatives who had died of Covid-19 because they could not afford wood for funeral pyres or because crematoriums were overwhelmed

Tuesday’s discovery comes after more than 150 rotting bodies were dumped into the river on Monday in the same region.

Some of the bodies on Tuesday were partially burned, according to media reports quoting other officials, suggesting they had not been properly cremated.

The infected bodies surfaced in river along the border of the northern states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, where the River Ganges run through.
Pictured: Dogs and bodies in the water

Locals suggested to AFP news agency that people were immersing the bodies of relatives who had died of Covid-19 because they could not afford wood for funeral pyres or because crematoriums were overwhelmed.

Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are two of India’s poorest states and home to an estimated 370 million people.

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

Janardhan Singh Sigriwal, a Bihar Member of Parliament for the country’s ruling BJP party, claimed that the coronavirus victims were being dumped by ambulance drivers from a bridge.

It is reported that the bodies of the coronavirus victims were unclaimed, and that was why staff were attempting to get rid of them quickly, rather than having to perform the full last rites, which involves burying or cremating them.

On Tuesday, India recorded another 3,876 Covid-deaths in the previous 24 hours, and a further 329,942 cases – although both figures are almost certainly undercounts as the country looks set to reach the grim milestone of 250,000 official fatalities tomorrow. 

The horrifying scenes come amid mounting pressure on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to call a nationwide lockdown to combat a rapidly-spreading new variant, including from White House adviser Anthony Fauci who warned, ‘You’ve got to shutdown.’

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