India has set a new global record for a rise in daily coronavirus cases for a fifth straight day, while deaths from COVID-19 also jumped by an all-time high over the last 24 hours yesterday.
Burial grounds in New Delhi are running out of space. In the central city of Bhopal, some crematoriums have increased their capacity from dozens of pyres to more than 50. Yet there are still hours-long waits.
At the city’s Bhadbhada Vishram Ghat crematorium, workers said they cremated more than 110 people, even as government figures in the entire city of 1.8 million put the total number of virus deaths at just 10.
The unprecedented rush of bodies has forced the crematorium to skip individual ceremonies and exhaustive rituals that Hindus believe release the soul from the cycle of rebirth.
Meanwhile several nations, including the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, have offered support as India’s under-funded healthcare system struggles to cope with the increasing demand for medical oxygen and hospital beds.
Authorities in northern Italy announced yesterday they had identified two cases of the Indian variant of coronavirus, in a father and daughter recently returned from India.
The news follows reports of another case in the central region of Tuscany last month, and comes after the Italian government banned arrivals from the virus-hit country.
“Today in (the city of) Bassano we have the first two patients, two Indians,” announced Luca Zaia, head of the Veneto region.”