Coinciding with the decline in Covid-19 cases in Delhi over the past month, only 466 funerals adhering to Covid protocols took place in June, less than five percent of those conducted in May.
In May, Delhi saw 9,324 Covid protocol funerals — the highest since the pandemic began.
To minimise the risk of spread of the infection, the Health Ministry had mandated a series of precautions to be followed during funerals of those who died of Covid. The protocols are followed not just for confirmed Covid deaths, but also for suspected cases.
Not a single day in June saw more than 50 such funerals, in stark contrast to April and May, where almost 300 were seen per day, as per the data of three municipal corporations in the city that manage cremation and burial grounds.
The cremation grounds’ figures fell to single digits for 15 days straight between June 16 and June 30. Only one funeral was held following Covid protocols on June 28, 29 and 26.
At its peak, the corporations’ cremation grounds saw 717 Covid protocol cremations on April 29 – the highest so far for a single day. It saw more than 700 Covid protocol cremations per day in the last week of April.
A senior official of the civic body said that there has been a sharp fall in the cases and some cremation grounds under the East Delhi municipal corporation have seen zero Covid funerals for many days. He said this has also helped the corporation invest its resources on other public works.
He said as the number of cases is coming down, the civic body is also upgrading its cremation grounds.
During the second wave, the municipalities had to expand their capacity with 1,184 spaces being reserved in 28 sites for last rites as per the Covid protocol. Mayor of South civic body Mukesh Suryan said that the spaces reserved for Covid are being freed gradually.