At least 70 bodies have been pulled from the banks of the Ganges River in eastern India after the Covid-19 disease unprecedented increase. Most bodies were found floating in the river on Tuesday, washing up in Ghazipur district in neighboring Uttar Pradesh state. The condition of the bodies suggested they had been in the water for three to four days. Images on social media of the bodies floating in the river prompted outrage and speculation that they died from COVID-19. “Due to heavy decomposition, we were unable to determine the cause of death,” officials in the Bixar district of Bihar state said in a statement Tuesday. So, the authorities “cannot confirm whether the deceased were indeed COVID-19 positive,” a local official for the town of Chausa in Buxar district declared.
The Ganges river flows through the states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and finally into West Bengal. As coronavirus infections continue to rise, at least 24 of India’s 36 states and union territories are under full lockdowns. A simple lack of oxygen is killing thousands of people infected with COVID. On Tuesday, the country confirmed nearly 390,000 new cases, including 3,876 more deaths. Sources declared that “bodies from around 12-13 villages have been buried in the water.” The desperation that engulfed New Delhi, India’s capital, over the past few weeks is now spreading across the entire country. The World Health Organization now says that a new variant of the virus detected in India, B.1.167, may be especially transmissible.