Monday, 30th October 2017

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Cyclone halts Covid-19 patient's cremation

Trouble transporting many of the bodies after storm struck city

By Subhajoy Roy in Calcutta
  • Published 23.05.20, 4:16 AM
  • Updated 23.05.20, 4:19 PM
  • a min read
  •  
The state government has assigned the crematorium to cremate people who die after testing positive for Covid-19. (Shutterstock)

The cremation of 20 Covid-19 patients was held up between Wednesday evening and Friday morning because transporting bodies to the Dhapa crematorium was difficult in the wake of Cyclone Amphan, the civic body has said.

The power supply to the crematorium was restored on Friday morning, Firhad Hakim, the chairman of Calcutta Municipal Corporation’s (CMC) board of administrators, said.

The state government has assigned the crematorium to cremate people who die after testing positive for Covid-19.

“The power supply to the crematorium had been cut off on Wednesday evening when the storm was blowing across Calcutta. Since the wind was predicted to be stronger in east Calcutta, the power supply was cut off,” Hakim said.

Many power lines snapped after the cyclone struck and that, too, added to the time taken to restore power supply to the crematorium, a civic official said.

After the restoration of power supply, it took some time for cremation to start, the civic official said.

Deceased Covid-19 patients from Calcutta and adjoining districts are being taken to the crematorium at Dhapa.

A burial ground at Bagmari has been identified to bury people who die after testing positive for Covid-19.

Hakim said the delay in cremation happened because many of the bodies could not be transported after the cyclone struck the city.

Ambulances were not available to transport the bodies since Wednesday morning, a CMC official said.

“Ambulance owners and drivers were worried about the storm. So, they did not venture out since morning,” the CMC official said.

On Thursday, waterlogged streets and roads blocked by uprooted trees and electric poles hampered the transportation of bodies, the official said.