Dead bodies of corona infected being cremated on open ground (photo feature)

Published On: May 3, 2021 03:25 PM NPT By: Dipesh Shrestha/Monika Malla

KATHMANDU, May 2: Cremations of those who succumbed to COVID are being carried out in an open ground on the bank of Bagmati River at Pashupati crematorium area for lack of adequate space as the number of people dying of COVID-19 complication sees a sharp spike in recent days. 

Nepal Army (NA) personnel have been disposing the dead bodies of corona patients as per the Dead Body Management Protocol 2020. As one of the two electric crematoriums is out of order, the army personnel managing the dead bodies of COVID-19 patients are forced to cremate in an open space on the bank of Bagmati River beyond the areas designated for cremating dead bodies.  

According to the Nepal Army Spokesperson Santosh Ballav Poudel, the number of fatalities linked to the COVID-19 infection is surging at an alarming rate. “We managed a total of 26 dead bodies from the Kathmandu Valley on Saturday (May 1) alone. Similarly, 31 others were cremated on Sunday (May 2),” he said. “We have been asked to dispose of the mortal remains of 27 patients as of 2 PM today (Monday).”

The dead bodies of the COVID-19 patients are being created at the electric crematorium that lies on the bank of Bagmati River at Pashupatinath Temple area for safety reasons.  The crematorium along the Bagmati River has only two electric crematorium, of which only one is currently in operation. "We are forced to dispose of the mortal remains in an open space due to lack of adequate space in the designated cremation area,” Poudel told Republica over the phone. 

When our photojournalists Monika Malla and Dipesh Shrestha reached the Pashupati Crematorium on Monday afternoon to see how the dead bodies of COVID-19 patients are being managed, army personnel donned in the personal protective equipment (PPE) were seen disposing of a number of dead bodies on the bank of Bagmati River in area beyond the designated space for cremating the dead bodies. 

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