Surge in casualties, Ludhiana crematorium ‘booked’ till July 29 - ECAS Punjab

Surge in casualties, Ludhiana crematorium ‘booked’ till July 29

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Harshraj Singh

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25

With Covid-19 cases increasing daily, families of those who died due to the infection are being asked to wait for at least three days to perform the last rites due to a 'waiting list' at the cremation ground here.

The staff at the Ramgarhia Shamshan Ghat, Dholewal, claimed that the bookings at the LPG crematorium had already been made till July 29. On the other hand, the district administration claimed there was no 'waiting list' for the cremation of bodies. A local resident, Keemti Rawal, said, "My relative died due to Covid-19 on Friday. Now, his cremation will be done on Monday as there is a 'waiting list' for the funerals. The body of my relative has been kept at a mortuary. The administration should take steps for timely cremation of the persons dying due to the infection."

A total of 2,275 confirmed Covid cases have been reported in the district while 51 persons have lost their lives so far.

The Ramgarhia Education Council manages the cremation ground earmarked for the cremation of Covid victims. Its president Ranjodh Singh said Covid victims and even suspected patients were cremated at the place. "An average of three infected or suspected patients are cremated in the LPG crematorium daily. There is a waiting list for the cremation of bodies till July 29. Our staff is working hard to handle the situation. I also appeal to the government to provide full insurance cover to the staff at the crematorium," he said. Amid Covid fears, the mortal remains of 40 deceased have not yet been collected by their families, staff members said.

The cremation ground staff, including Granthi Gurdev Singh and Pandit Pankaj Sharma, remain busy in performing the last rites as per the religion of the deceased. Sanitation worker Parveen Kumar ensures spray of disinfectant after every funeral.

Deputy Commissioner Varinder Sharma said there was no "waiting list" for the cremation of bodies in Ludhiana. "One of the LPG-based machines was not functioning at the crematorium at Dholewal and a mechanic has been called to get it repaired. It is not even necessary to conduct the cremation at the LPG crematorium. Moreover, not all Covid-19 victims are cremated at this place as bodies are being cremated at other cremation grounds in the district too. There is no problem at all," he said. Civil Surgeon Dr Rajesh Bagga said the death rate stood at 2.35 per cent and it was not increasing in the district.



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