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A new cremation ground has been set up near government land in open forest areas in Uttarakhand after locals raised objections over cremating the bodies of Covid victims at the traditional crematoriums in Almora.

With no help from the authorities or government, the relatives of Covid-19 victims are cremating the bodies deep in the hills.

Heart-wrenching images of pyre burning have come to the fore from the state and with Covid spreading like wildfire, many believe that number of dead is set to rise in coming weeks.

As many as 92 per cent of Covid positive patients are staying in home isolation in Uttarakhand.

The state has only one Covid hospital for every 1.2 lakh people. At present, the fatality rare in Uttarakhand stands at 1.73 per cent.

In the last week, Almora witnessed 40 deaths. The cremations, however, are being done by patients only as they receive no support from authorities.

For 35-year-old Munna Lal, the last 10 days were a nightmare. His father was suffering from fever and could only bring him to the hospital — which is far away from his place — after nine days of severe illness. His family, too, has tested positive for the virus. Worse, just 24 hours after admission, Lal got to know that his father was no more.

Similarly, 40-year-old Chandan Rawat, brought the mortal remains of his father to the cremation site 10 kms away from Almora, after he found no place in cremation grounds.

“Cases are rising rapidly in the village. We stay 10 kms away from a Covid hospital. My father was ill from last 5 days. He had fever, cough and his nose was bleeding. There was no medicine in the village, so we shifted him to the base hospital but within 48 hours of admission he passed away,” Chandan Rawat said.

Stating that there is acute shortage of medicines in the village, Chandan said, “There are many in my village who are positive including my own family members. By the time we reach the hospital, it is often too late. They don’t get the immediate medical attention which they need.”