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Electric crematorium in Kathmandu overwhelmed due to increase in COVID-19 deaths

ANI | Updated: May 03, 2021 22:39 IST

Kathmandu [Nepal], May 3 (ANI): Nepal is seeing rise in cases of COVID-19 and reported 7,448 new cases in last 24 hours, the highest single-day rise, as the Himalayan Nation grapples with the second wave of infection.
Nepal also reported the highest death toll at 37 on Monday. The Pashupatinath Electric Crematorium, which has been running round-the-clock, is getting bodies beyond its capacity compelling authorities to conduct cremation in open ground.
Nepal Army, given the responsibility to cremate or bury most of the bodies, begun making and using makeshift pyres on the bank of the Bagmati in the Pashupati area to decrease the load of electric crematorium.

"So far COVID-19 victims would be cremated at the single electric crematorium only so as to avoid the risk of infection. However, the army has been getting around 30 assignments (for final rites) every day this week and it is beyond the capacity of electric facility," Army spokesperson Santosh Ballav Paudyal told ANI over phone.
The electric crematorium takes one-and-a-half hours to cremate a body. Even if it operates 24 hours, it can cremate only 16 people a day, which is only around half of the number of deaths reported every day. The army has been making makeshift pyres at quite a distance from other pyres for general use.
The Himalayan Nation tested total of 16,658 samples using PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) method and conducted 518 antigen tests in past 24 hours of which 7,399 PCR tests and 60 antigen tests turned positive for the virus.
As many as 2,021 people, who were earlier diagnosed with COVID-19, have recovered in the past 24 hours.
There are 12 districts with more than 500 active cases and 21 districts with more than 200 active cases in the country. A total of 50,172 COVID-19 patients are in home isolation, 3,869 in institutional isolation, 578 in ICUs and 142 others on ventilators across the country as of Monday afternoon. (ANI)