Guwahati: Forty-three-year-old Ramananda Sarkar knows that carrying out cremations is not an easy job. In the past five months, he has done the last rites of nearly 400 Covid-19 deaths in Guwahati, the biggest city of Assam. In the past few weeks, Assam has been witnessing a flow in Covid-19 cases as well as deaths. The state had recorded an estimated 130,823 positive cases and 378 deaths daily. Kamrup Metropolitan district, which includes Guwahati, is the worst affected with 500-600 new cases daily.
Ulubari crematorium has been conducted 400 cremations till date, which is handling the bulk of the load while a few cases are shifted to Bhootnath crematorium, the other designated place for cremating bodies of Covid-19 patients. Seventy-two more patients have been buried at the Athgaon and Islampur cemeteries in the city.
“I’ve been conducting last rites of Covid-19 patients since April and till Tuesday have done nearly 400 cremations till date. Earlier, it used to be 1-2 cases in a day, but since the past one month we have 10-12 cremations daily,” said Sarkar, who works at the Ulubari crematorium in Guwahati. These days he stays at a hotel at government expense. He has been tested several times for Covid-19, but not detected positive yet. In the past few days, there have been rumors that due to an increase in fatalities, bodies of Covid-19 patients have been lying in morgues for days due to lack of enough manpower to cremate them.
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