If records of two crematoriums and a cemetery are to be believed, last rites of 137 COVID-19 victims were performed in Bhopal on Wednesday, though the official death figure for the day was only five. While the mismatch indicated massive under-reporting of COVID-19 fatalities, District Chief Medical and Health Officer Dr Prabhakar Tiwari was not available for comment despite repeated calls.
Last rites of 187 persons, 137 of them coronavirus patients, were performed on Wednesday in the Madhya Pradesh capital, as per the managers of the three facilities. “As many as 111 people were cremated at our facility on Wednesday. 92 of them had died of coronavirus,” Bhadbhada Vishram Ghat (crematorium) secretary Mamtesh Sharma told PTI.
The bodies of coronavirus patients are brought in air-tight plastic bags to prevent the spread of the disease. Out of 92, 61 were from Bhopal while 31 were from other districts but were receiving treatment here, he added.
Bhadbhada crematoriums and Zada graveyard were initially authorised to perform the last rites of COVID-19 patients in the district. Due to rise in fatalities, another crematorium, Subhash Nagar Vishram Ghat, too has got the permission, Sharma said. “Last rites of 56 people were performed at our crematorium yesterday,” said Subhash Nagar Vishram Ghat manager Sobhraj Sukhwani, adding that 31 of them had died due to the pandemic.
Twenty of them were locals while 11 hailed from other districts, he said. Rehan Golden, president of Zada Graveyard Committee, Jahangirabad, claimed that 20 burials took place on Wednesday.
“Of them, 14 had died of coronavirus. All coronavirus deceased were locals,” he said. But the Madhya Pradesh government bulletin of Wednesday evening said that five COVID-19 patients died in Bhopal during the day, taking the total of deaths in the state capital to 687.