India faces increasing difficulty disposing of COVID dead

The spread of the coronavirus appears to be slowing in India. Cases have fallen for the third day in a row – raising hopes that the worst could soon be over. But deaths from COVID-19 are still rising.

More than 4,000 people have again died within a day. Corpses of COVID-19 victims continue to wash up on the banks of India’s Ganges River. The government is working on boosting vaccine supplies to try and pull the brake on the disaster, which has now claimed the lives of over 270,000 people.

As desperation takes hold in the scramble for covid-19 vaccines and treatment, India’s second wave is also affecting the disposal of the dead. State officials believe some families are unable to afford the costs of cremation, as demand skyrockets. According to official numbers, India has suffered nearly 4,000 deaths per day for over a week.

But the true death toll may be even higher. There are small signs of improvement. The rapid spread of the virus seems to be slowing – sparking hope that social distancing measures may be starting to have an effect. More vaccines are also on their way.

A second batch of Russia’s Sputnik Vee landed on Sunday. But getting enough vaccine to protect India’s 1.3 billion population will take time. For now, Indians are left picking up the pieces of the devastation left behind.