In India, crematoriums work non-stop and melt as COVID deaths rise

In India, furnaces of local crematoria started melting being unable to handle the overwhelming quantity of bodies of those who died from the coronavirus infection, Al Jazeera reports, noting that the Indian government is underreporting the COVID-19 death toll in the country.

According to Al Jazeera, gas and wood-fired furnaces of a crematorium in the western Indian state of Gujarat were running uninterruptedly during the pandemic for a very long period of time, which caused metal parts of the furnaces to melt.

Kamlesh Sailor, the head of the Surat Crematorium Management Foundation, said that they had to work at full capacity around the clock to cremate the bodies on time.

Several large cities in India report a much larger number of cremations and burials per day than follows from the official lists of the deceased. All this is happening against the backdrop of a shortage of medicines and hospitals in India, RTVi says.

According to the channel, the number of new daily cases of COVID-19 in India decreased slightly on April 20. However, they remain above 200,000 new cases a day for six consecutive days. Over the past 24 hours, the number of new infections has increased to 259,170. According to India's Health Ministry, the number of deaths per day rose to a record 1,761.

India currently ranks second among the countries most susceptible to coronavirus infection (more than 15.320,000 positive cases).

Officially, coronavirus claimed the lives of over 180,000 people in India; 15,000 of them died in April, although some believe that the real number could be much higher.

A new strain of coronavirus, B1617, is currently circulating in India. So far, it remains unknown whether the new strain is more infectious or deadly compared to the original genetic variant of the novel coronavirus.

On April 19, India set an anti-record in terms of the number of coronavirus infections per day -almost 274,000. The number of deaths associated with infection in the last 24 hours has increased by 1,619 and amounted to 178,769.

It appears that India is unable to take the crisis under control as all of the above is happening despite coronavirus restrictions as restaurants, shopping centers and gyms remain closed in India.