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India coronavirus: Round-the-clock mass cremations

India coronavirus: Round-the-clock mass cremations thumbnail

Harrowing scenes from India show the extent of the crisis gripping the nation as the second wave of coronavirus brings the death toll to over 200,000.

This article contains images some people may find upsetting.

image copyrightDanish Siddiqui / Reuters

image captionPeople cremate the bodies of Covid victims at a crematorium in Delhi

India has seen more Covid cases in the last seven days than any other country.

People have died waiting for beds, as oxygen supplies run low and hospitals buckle under the strain.

Now crematoriums are also running out of space, with some operating non-stop and workers saying they haven’t had a break from performing last rites.

In Hinduism, cremation is traditionally the most important part of the funeral rites because Hindus believe the body must be destroyed to force the soul to separate from it.

In the Indian capital Delhi, workers have been forced to build makeshift funeral pyres, with parks and other empty spaces being utilised for cremations.

Authorities have reportedly cut down trees in city parks to use as firewood.

Families have had to wait hours before being allowed to cremate their dead and have also been asked to help with cremations by piling wood and assisting in other rituals.

Here are pictures from Delhi showing workers and relatives taking part in cremations.

image copyrightNaveen Sharma/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

image captionA family member wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) carries wood to prepare a funeral pyre for their relative at a cremation ground

image copyrightAdnan Abidi / Reuters

image captionA health worker walks past prepared funeral pyres

image copyrightAdnan Abidi / Reuters

image captionPeople prepare funeral pyres for a mass cremation (above and below)

image copyrightAdnan Abidi / Reuters

image copyrightAmarjeet Kumar Singh / Shutterstock

image copyrightDanish Siddiqui / Reuters

image captionFuneral pyres have been burning round the clock in some places

image copyrightDanish Siddiqui / Reuters

image copyrightAdnan Abidi / Reuters

image captionCrematorium staff have worked without breaks

image copyrightAdnan Abidi / Reuters

image captionThere has been a huge rise in demand for cremations as Covid deaths soared in recent weeks

image copyrightDanish Siddiqui / Reuters

image captionAn aerial drone photo shows mass cremations burning next to a neighbourhood in Delhi

image copyrightAdnan Abidi / Reuters

image captionThis boy is mourning his father in Delhi

image copyrightAdnan Abidi / Reuters

image captionHere two Delhi residents wearing PPE mourn their relative

image copyrightAdnan Abidi / Reuters

image captionOthers comfort each other in their grief

image copyrightAdnan Abidi / Reuters

image captionFamilies have had to wait hours before being allowed to cremate their dead

image copyrightAdnan Abidi / Reuters

image captionFamily members sit next to burning funeral pyres

image copyrightAdnan Abidi / Reuters

image captionThe smoke clears in a crematorium

All pictures are subject to copyright.

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