Residents in the area believe the bodies were dumped in the river because the crematoriums were overwhelmed or families could not carry the remains in their possession.
The bodies of dozens of people believed to have died from COVID-19 slowly on the banks of the Ganges River in northern India have been recovered, officials said on Monday.
District Officer Ashok Kumar said about 40 bodies had been washed away in Boxer district, near the border between Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, two of India’s poorest states.
“We have instructed the authorities concerned to dispose of all the bodies, either to bury or bury them,” Kumar told AFP.
The epidemic has spread rapidly over vast rural areas of India, disrupting local health facilities as well as crematoriums and cemeteries.
Residents told AFP they believed the bodies were dumped on the riverbank because cemetery sites were overwhelmed or relatives could not buy wood for the funeral.
“It really shocks us,” Kameshwar Pandey told the news agency.
According to some media reports, the number of bodies could be more than 100.
Citing other officials, the report said some of them were swollen and partially burnt and could have stayed in the river for several days.
According to official figures, about 4,000 people are dying from coronavirus every day in India and the number of deaths is around two and a half thousand.
However, citing anecdotal evidence from the crematorium, many experts believe that the actual daily number may be several times greater.
It is now especially the current growing situation that has spread beyond the big cities to the countryside where there are very few hospitals and poor record keeping among them.