Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Video Editor: Ashutosh Bhardwaj
Officially, Ghaziabad has reported only two COVID-19 related deaths so far in April 2021. However, there is a clear mismatch between the official figures and the ground reality.
According to videos and photos accessed by The Quint, crematoriums in Ghaziabad are working overtime to cope with the surge in number of deaths from India’s accelerating COVID-19 outbreak.
In the photos , families of the deceased can be seen lined up outside crematoriums as they await their turn.
The Ghaziabad Administration has also been constructing new platforms on the pavements of the roads leading to the cremation sites, reported Hindustan Times.
“The cremation facility can take in 15 bodies in a day. However, 43 bodies were brought in,” Hindustan Times, quoted a district official.
The report added that between 15-17 April, 142 bodies were cremated at the site.
According to a report by The Wire, the state’s official COVID-19 bulletins have recorded zero deaths in 13 days for Agra, 15 days for Bareilly, 14 days for Jhansi, and 15 days for Ghaziabad.
The report also quotes a crematorium worker in Ghaziabad: “If anybody wants to know the real number of COVID deaths, they should visit this place and see.”
According to a Hindustan Times report, the districts electric crematorium has been out of order since 16 April.
Discrepancy in COVID-19 Death Figures in Surat
A similar crisis is also being witnessed in Surat, Gujarat, where bodies of five COVID patients were cremated on a single funeral pyre on Wednesday, 14 April.
There is also discrepancy in the data on COVID-19 deaths provided by the government and those reported by hospitals and crematoriums.
According to a report by The Times of India, at Gujarat's SSG Hospital, at least 180 people died in COVID ICUs in the last nine days while 115 people died at the COVID ICUs in GMERS Medical College and Hospital, Gotri, since 7 April.
Combining these two government-run hospitals’ data, the death toll is close to 350 in a week. However, the government figures put the total death toll of the pandemic in entire Vadodara district at 300 since the outbreak of the pandemic last year.