Burden of Death: As COVID Deaths Overwhelm Crematoriums in Delhi, Pyres Burn in Parking Areas


The daily death toll of COVID patients is mounting, with the Indian capital reporting an ever-increasing number of fatalities. On Monday, Delhi recorded 350 deaths, with the average number of coronavirus-related deaths in the past week rising to 304. Delhi is seeing an average of 25,000 new COVID infections daily.

The crematoriums in Delhi, running day and night beyond their full capacity, have started making platforms for burning pyres in the parking lots and green belts within their premises. This is meant to help take on the load of dead bodies piling up in hospitals awaiting dignified last rites. 

A cremation ground in the Ghazipur area of Delhi has made room for 20 more pyre platforms in parking lots, while about 10 more platforms were constructed overnight in Delhi’s Wazirabad crematorium.

Civic bodies in the Indian capital are compiling reports on funerals being held with COVID-19 protocols in the city, and some suggest that 666 such funerals took place only on Sunday until 6 p.m.

The Delhi government has increased the daily COVID-protocol cremation capacity in the city to 655, while designating three crematoriums exclusively for coronavirus dead.

With hundreds in the city succumbing to the disease, the government has been compelled to increase the daily cremation capacity of coronavirus patients four times in the past two weeks. 

Dead Bodies Kept in Same Room as Patients

Some hospitals are grappling with the lack of space to timely manage the bodies of patients who have succumbed to the virus.

One COVID-19 patient, who was recently admitted to a Delhi hospital, opted to be discharged at the earliest due to the worsening state of affairs there. 

What Do Civic Authorities Say?

A senior administrative official of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation told Sputnik on Monday, “We are getting frantic calls from hospitals that they are running out of space to keep dead bodies and we have to quickly cremate these as our top priority. We are adding more pyre platforms in the existing crematorium premises, wherever we are getting space”.

As many as 50 new pyre platforms are being constructed in the green space near the Sarai Kale Khan crematorium, another area of Delhi, by the government as the death toll continues to rise in the city, where millions of people live.


Recently, more than 200 bodies have been cremated there daily, he said, as compared to an earlier count of about 40. 

The Indian capital city of Delhi, divided into three civic zones, has about 23 crematoriums under its administration. All the crematoriums are running beyond their full capacity: “We are in the process of setting up a 10-acre funeral centre in Rohini area of Delhi”, said a civic body official.

Sourse: sputniknews.com

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