With 6,000 Covid Cases in 7 Days, Bodies Pile Up at Mortuary in C'garh's Worst-affected Durg District

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Amid surge in the number of coronavirus cases in Chhattisgarh’s Durg district, bodies of the victims have been piling up at a local mortuary as at least 38 have lost their lives in past seven days. Durg is one of the worst-affected districts in the state that faces a massive spike in Covid-19 infections as a second wave threatens to go on the rampage.

Chhattisgarh reported 4,174 fresh Covid-19 cases on Friday, April 2, of which Durg accounted for 964 of the new infections taking the district’s caseload to 41,032, including 766 deaths. Over 6,000 people have been infected in the district in the last seven days, rendering the authorities unable to cope with the surge in number of infections and deaths.

Amid a surge in cases in Durg, the district administration imposed a complete lockdown from April 6 till April 14.

Doctors at a 500-bed government hospital are unable to handover bodies of the victims to their relatives as the district mortuary that has eight freezers already has 27 bodies piled up, reported NDTV.

“So far no alternate arrangements (to deal with the Covid crisis) have been made. We have been informed about dead bodies piling up in the mortuary… we are probing this.” NDTV quoted Durg’s Chief Medical Superintendent Dr PR Balkishor as saying.

About four to five people are dying of the Covid-19 everyday and in most cases, the patients are getting admitted in critical condition, i.e. when their oxygen levels have fallen to 40 or 50 per cent, he said, adding that a shortage of medical staff could pose a problem for people suffering from other ailments. “We are trying to withdraw non-Covid services,” he said.

Reacting to the rise in number of Covid-19 deaths, Durg Collector Sarveshwar Narendra Bhure said that the district authorities are trying to create more places for cremations as graveyards have run out of space. “Earlier, cremation was being held at two places. With rising deaths in last two days, many bodies have been brought to cremation centres. We’re trying to arrange 2-3 places for it,” he said.

Situation has been grave in the district and a week-long lockdown may not be enough to deal with the surge in cases. In the past fortnight, Chhattisgarh’s active caseload have risen by record 369 per cent – from 6,753 on March 20 to 28,987 on April 2.

The Centre on Friday listed the state as one of 11 marked “grave concern”. Previously, a central team of medical experts was also sent to the state to help combat the virus.