Indian families are told to bury their dead in their back gardens as crematoriums buckle under strain of record Covid surge that saw 350,000 cases in one day 

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India recorded another 349,691 infections and 2,767 deaths, but the figures are believed to be even higher.

Relatives have been encouraged to burn Covid victims on their own land to ease pressure on crematoriums.

The US has offered to send assistance as India struggles to contain the surging second wave of the virus.

Dr Shahid Jameel has warned it still yet to hit the peak of its second Covid wave despite landmark cases.

He said that models suggest there could be 500,000 infections per day at the end of the first week of May.

Hospitals reported Covid-19 patients dying overnight due to low oxygen levels as the virus grew.

India’s surging Covid second wave has so overwhelmed crematoriums that grieving families are being forced to burn victims in their own gardens.

The country announced a record 349,661 infections and 2,767 deaths in the past 24 hours and bodies are continuing to pile up, with experts predicting the surge to continue for weeks.

In Delhi, 348 deaths were recorded on Friday, one every four minutes, and in the southern state of Karnataka, the government has been forced to allow families to cremate or bury victims in their own farms, land or gardens.

The home ceremonies have to comply with health guidelines but it is hoped the move will ease the pressure on crematoriums and grave diggers.

Karnataka Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa said the situation was ‘out of control’, adding: ‘It is prudent to swiftly and respectfully dispose the body in a decentralised manner keeping in view the grieving circumstance and to avoid crowding in crematoriums and burial grounds.’

A construction entrepreneur from Bangalore told The Straits Times his family had to dig up their lawn to bury his father this week.

The crisis has prompted the UK government to send 600 pieces of vital medical equipment to India including ventilators and oxygen concentrators from surplus stocks via nine planes, it was announced on Sunday.

Boris Johnson said: ‘We stand side by side with India as a friend and partner during what is a deeply concerning time in the fight against Covid-19.

‘Vital medical equipment, including hundreds of oxygen concentrators and ventilators, is now on its way from the UK to India to support efforts to prevent the tragic loss of life from this terrible virus.

‘We will continue to work closely with the Indian government during this difficult time and I’m determined to make sure that the UK does everything it can to support the international community in the global fight against pandemic.’

The country announced a record 349,661 infections and 2,767 deaths in the past 24 hours and bodies are continuing to pile up, with experts predicting the surge to continue for weeks
Bangalore’s seven crematoriums have been working 24 hours a day as they try to manage four times their normal workload.

Bookings for wooden pyres in Ghaziabad have run out and bodies are having to be burnt in the spaces between the platforms.

One electric furnace even broke down and had to be repaired due to its excessive use, while a chimney in another furnace cracked from the constant heat.

There are fears the situation could become even worse in the coming days, with senior virologists warning the second wave still has two weeks to run before it reaches the peak of 500,000 infections a day.

Shahid Jameel, director of biosciences at Ashoka University, said virus models suggest case numbers will continue to rise despite vaccination efforts.

India Health Ministry recorded a total of 17 millions infections 192,000 death and 14.1 Millions recovered since the beginning of the outbreak
The current case and death figures are thought to be even higher due to limited testing capacity and the US, Britain and Pakistan have offered to assist with sending medical supplies.

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Citizen Atare is a Ghanaian who hails from the Upper East Region. He is an ICT professional working at the University of Ghana, Legon. Citizen Atare is an amateur freelance writer and blogger for over 20 years, who likes to research into everyday lifestyle issues and situations, politics, and cultural practices to write about to educate and also entertain his readers. He is a highly creative and motivated, highly inquisitive, open minded and to an extent risk-taking with a high visual acumen. He is a dreamer who isn’t afraid to break creative barriers. He is also a passionate aviation, tech and motoring enthusiast with a lot of knowledge to share and a private researcher. He has no formal education or certificate in journalism, but the hunger to know more and do more, backed by an impressive work portfolio is what drives him to write the things he knows best for his numerous online fans. Citizen Atare is married to Margaret and they both live in Accra with their lovely daughter Zoey. His hobbies include reading, listening to very good music; especially jazz, writing, watching action, sci-fi and adventure movies, travel and site seeing and swiming. He likes eating fufu and palm nut soup, but prefers boiled rice and kontomire stew with agushie more. Contact: pnawurah@gmail.com

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