Corpses are burned in parks while families wait up to 20 hours to honor their dead as India grapples with a devastating Covid crisis.
Earlier this week there were dire reports of infections hitting a record high of 352,991 for the fifth straight day and deaths hitting an all-time high of more than 2,800.
During a terrible second wave in the country known as the “tsunami”, infected people have wandered the streets looking for hospitals with open beds.
Morgues have run out of stretchers and park trees are used to burn bodies.
There is also a wild hunt for oxygen sold on the black market to keep critically ill relatives alive, and people hoarding supplies have caused panic and shortages in hospitals.
As the crisis deepens, reports have said that crematoria in India’s capital, Delhi, are being forced to build makeshift pyres in parks due to a lack of space.
The BBC reports that authorities are also having to cut trees in city parks to use as lighters for makeshift pyrene.
Relatives of the dead are also said to have been asked to help with cremations by stacking wood and helping out with rituals.
At least 27 new pyrenees were reportedly built at Sarai Kale Khan crematorium in the capital, and dozen more were added in a nearby park.
The Hindustan Times reports that some families wait up to 20 hours to honor their dead.
The first batch of British aid has now arrived, including much-needed oxygen.
The UK, Germany and the US are urgently sending medical aid – including oxygen and ventilators – to tackle the devastating second wave that got out of hand this month.
The country recorded more than 320,000 more cases on Tuesday and was accused of abandoning its vigilance as infections receded after the first wave.
Most of the public squares had reopened and there were mass election rallies that attracted tens of thousands of people, as well as large religious gatherings.
With a population of 1.3 billion, the country has had a total of 17.31 million infections and 195,123 deaths since the pandemic began more than a year ago.