India’s capital, Delhi, recorded 380 deaths on Monday alone as the country peaked at 352,991 new cases on the same day.
Rabat – India is building makeshift crematoriums in Delhi’s parks as the country nears 200,000 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
India reported 323,144 new infections in the past 24 hours marking the sixth day of new daily infections exceeding 300,000. As hospitals run out of beds and oxygen tanks to treat patients, public officials and desperate citizens are taking matters into their own hands.
Delhi’s Sarai Kale Khan crematorium built at least 27 new pyres to cremate bodies and seeks to add an additional 80 pyres in a surrounding park.
In a statement to the Indian Express newspaper, an official stated that there are waiting times of four to six hours for the cremation of bodies. Other local news sources show images of family members and local organizations helping to build the new crematoriums.
The current wave of COVID-19 in India is the worst since September 2020 when India saw a peak of 97,894 in cases, however, this is the first time crematoriums have been vastly overwhelmed.
Many global actors are coming to India’s aid by sending ventilators, oxygen tanks, and additional vaccines.
US President Joe Biden guaranteed the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the US will provide “oxygen-related supplies, vaccine materials and therapeutics” and added in a tweet that, “India was there for us and we will be there for them.”
Other countries like France, the UK, and Pakistan offered additional aid to India. France and the UK pledged to offer medical equipment such as ventilators while Pakistan will send nearly 50 ambulances to its eastern neighbor.
Currently, India has recorded a total of 17.6 million cases and has fully vaccinated 22.6 million people, which accounts for 1.7% of its population of 1.366 billion.
The Sant Shiv Sewa Foundation has built the majority of the new crematoriums in Delhi and continues to be the non-governmental leader in India’s COVID-19 response.