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India is running out of woods for buyers amid corona crisis: Indian journalist Rana Ayyub

Indian journalist Rana Ayyub in a powerful interview shed light on the devastating scenes of the COVID-19 havoc in India where the country is running out of woods for the buyers to cremate their loved ones in shamshan gaths (cremation grounds).

She gave an interview to NPR’s Scott Simon. The official death toll due to COVID-19 has increased from 1,11,000.

Rana Ayyub is an Indian journalist based in Mumbai. She said, “Every day is a nightmare and there is not a single family in India that has been unaffected by the virus.”

“I lost somebody in my family last day and four of my friends in the span of two weeks. The devastation in rural India is more than a carnage.”

“The official figures are 2000 deaths per day, but unofficial figures based on my conversations with health officials maintained that there are 10 times more death toll than the official figures, at least,” Rana Ayyub said.

Rana Ayyub said, “The cremation grounds in India are so full that we are running out of woods for the buyers. There are more bodies than the words than for the buyers. People are cremating their loved ones on the streets as there is no place to cremate them.”

As per the official data, India has been recording more than 300 000 cases of COVID-19 per day since April 21, up from 100 000 per day on April 4.

India is battling a worst-hit second wave of COVID-19 as India has the second highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world after the USA.

As per the Anoo Bhuyan reports from New Delhi, mass gatherings have been permitted as cases soar and patients die, while experts criticise a lack of ‘planning and flexibility’ in the COVID-19 response.

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