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Monday, June 14, 2021

Delhi: Highest number of Covid funerals took place in May, MCD data shows

The figure in April, the second worst month in terms of Covid funerals, was 9,156, data from the three civic bodies shows.

Written by Abhinav Rajput | New Delhi |
Updated: June 2, 2021 8:21:17 am
Delhi: Highest number of Covid funerals took place in May, MCD data showsHealth workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) carry wood to prepare a funeral pyre for a Covid-19 victim during a mass cremation at a crematorium in New Delhi. (Photo: Reuters)

The past month saw the highest number of funerals conducted as per Covid protocol in Delhi ever since the pandemic began, with municipal corporations putting the number of such funerals at 9,324 — an average of 300 per day.

The figure in April, the second worst month in terms of Covid funerals, was 9,156, data from the three civic bodies shows.

Funerals as per Covid protocol require a series of precautions mandated by the Health Ministry to minimise the risk of spread of the infection. This is not just for confirmed Covid deaths, but also for those where test results might be awaited but the deceased’s family says he or she had symptoms of the virus.

A senior official said that while May saw the most such funerals, the last week of April was the toughest they have faced as they did over 650 Covid funerals for eight days in a row starting April 24.

In fact, more than half the deaths recorded in these two months were between April 22 and May 7. Those 16 days saw 9,300 Covid funerals out of the 18,480 conducted in April and May.

A senior Civic body official said the number of Covid deaths could be higher since this was also the period when many people were not getting admissions at hospitals and were dying at home, and in many cases, relatives may have opted to conduct the last rites normally without disclosing Covid symptoms.

The data also shows that such funerals have been decreasing since the past week, with the figure coming down to 50 on May 31.

Mayor of the North MCD, Jaiprakash, said that though the number of cases is coming down, the civic body is upgrading its cremation grounds with more CNG facilities.

At the moment, less than 10% of the 1,184 spaces reserved in 28 sites under the MCDs are being used for Covid funerals.

East MCD Mayor Nirmal Jain said that with pressure being eased at cremation grounds, the civic bodies will shift focus on ensuring that childcare facilities are improved at Civic hospitals and dispensaries.

“The number of dedicated beds for children and childcare facilities at dispensaries are being increased,” he said.

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