Crematoriums in India are using cow-dung cakes and crop residue to perform the last rites for thousands of Covid-19 victims as the scale of the rising death toll causes a severe shortage of firewood.
More than 60,000 people have died since late March in the Hindu-majority nation of 1.3 billion, as a surge of coronavirus infections overwhelmed hospitals and crematoriums.
“The situation is so dire in the city that the [number of] cremations that would take place in a week are occurring on a single day now,” Nirmal Jain, mayor of East Delhi, told The National.
India is reporting record-breaking numbers of infections and fatalities, with daily confirmed cases hitting more than 412,000 – a global record – and deaths nearing 4,000 on Thursday alone. A total of 230,000 Covid-related deaths have been registered by the government since the pandemic began.