Locals in the northern Indian state of Bihar found dozens of dead bodies on the banks of the river Ganges, media reported on Monday. The bodies, which floated down from Uttar Pradesh, were of coronavirus victims whose families could not afford the costs of cremation, authorities said.
India has become the world’s worst coronavirus hotspot with around 4,000 people currently dying every day, according to official figures. The official total death toll has almost reached a quarter of a million. Cases began to soar following religious gatherings and political rallies that had been permitted by the government. The country has also been ravaged by the B.1.617 COVID-19 variant that appears to be more contagious. The appearance of the bodies has lent more weight to the suggestion that the number of COVID-19 deaths in India is being underreported — especially now that infections have spread out of the cities and into rural areas with fewer hospitals and poorer record-keeping.
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