“We keep finding 10 to 20 bodies every now and then,” Navneet Sehgal, a spokesman said.
Ground Report | New Delhi: India reported on Saturday the smallest daily increase in COVID-19 infections in nearly three weeks, but deaths remained close to 4,000 as the World Health Organization warned that the pandemic’s second year could be worse than the first.
In the past 24 hours, 3.11 lakh fresh coronavirus infections, India saw the lowest rise in daily COVID-19 cases after a gap of 25 days. The number of fatalities rose to 2,70,284 with 4,077 new deaths.
In Geneva, the head of the World Health Organization said India was a big problem, with the pandemic’s second year set to be even deadlier than the first.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ remarks at an online meeting came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi sounded the alarm on Friday over the rapid spread of the disease through the sprawling countryside.
Over the past week, the South Asian country has added about 1.7 million new cases and more than 20,000 deaths in a second wave of infections that has weighed on hospitals and medical staff.
Police are patrolling the banks of the Ganges in Uttar Pradesh, to stop the dumping of bodies in the river, a government official said.
“We keep finding 10 to 20 bodies every now and then,” Navneet Sehgal, a spokesman uttar Pradesh government, told Reuters.
“We have stationed police forces on the river and have also sent communications to local authorities that this practice is being stopped.”
Sehgal denied reports in the Asian Age newspaper, citing federal government sources, that nearly 2,000 bodies of virus victims may have been pulled from the river in the past week or so.
Several riverside villages did not cremate their bodies according to Hindu traditions during certain periods of religious significance, he added.
The state’s viral infections officially peaked late last month but experts say more cases go undetected in villages that house most of the state’s 240 million people.
Cases have continued to decline in several states that were hit by an initial surge in infections, such as the richest state in Maharashtra and the capital New Delhi, after they imposed tight lockdowns.
Delhi’s positive cases as part of tests have fallen to 11 percent, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal told a news conference, from more than 30 percent earlier this month.
But the eastern state of West Bengal, which held elections last month, saw its biggest jump in a single day.
On Saturday, they ordered a 15-day statewide lockdown until the end of May.
Several other states, such as Karnataka in the south, have also reported recent increases, implying that the decline in overall cases is still far off.