• Tuesday, Aug 03, 2021
  • Last Update : 06:48 pm

Covid-19: Pressure mounts on graveyards, crematories

  • Published at 11:19 pm April 16th, 2021
Photo shows a number of grave pits, prepared by mechanized digging due to the high number of deaths on April 16, 2021 Ali Asif Shawon

A total of 134 Covid victims buried at the capital’s Rayerbazar graveyard in two weeks of April

Workers at graveyards and cremation grounds in Dhaka are overburdened with the number of Covid-19 burials due to the spike in coronavirus deaths since the beginning of April.

“Compared to March, block 8 of the Rayerbazar graveyard – dedicated for Covid burials – has seen double the number of corpses each day in April,” Dhaka North City Corporation Social Welfare Officer Asaduzzaman told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday.

A similar surge in bodies has been seen at the Postogola crematorium, the largest crematorium in the capital.

Purohit Bikash Sannal of Postogola crematorium said: “In March, we completed 15 cremations of Covid-19 bodies. We are barely half way through April, and we have already done 20 this month.”

Rayerbazar: 134 bodies in 16 days

A total of 134 Covid-19 burials have been conducted at Rayerbazar graveyard in the first 16 days of April.

Liakat, in-charge of maintaining and digging the graves at Rayerbazar, said: “From April 1, we have been digging an average of 20 graves each morning as we are unsure how many bodies will arrive.”

134 Covid-19 burials conducted at Rayerbazar graveyard in the first 16 days
of April | Ali Asif Shawon

This rush winded down a little when more crematoriums were added to the list and the Covid-19 died down a little.

“Now the rush seems to be coming back and we again are getting multiple bodies a day,” he added.

Other places

The graveyards Azimpur, Banani, Uttara and Taltola, and the Lalbagh crematorium are also receiving bodies of Covid-19 suspects and patients.

Hafizul Islam, in-charge of Azimpur graveyard, said that the bodies of the Covid victims who had bought spaces at the graveyard were also buried here, though it was not designated for Covid burials.

He added that some influential families had insisted on holding the burials here.

The graveyards Azimpur, Banani, Uttara and Taltola, and the Lalbagh crematorium are also receiving bodies of Covid-19 suspects and patients | Ali Asif Shawon

Asked about the risk of Covid, Hafizul said that they were accepting only the bodies that had been cleaned and packed properly by Al-Markazul Islami Bangladesh, Quantum Foundation and other voluntary organizations.

Demand for burials rising

Al-Markazul Islami acting chairman Hamza Shahidul Islam said that they were getting more requests for burial work in April compared to the previous months. The number of calls started climbing sharply from the last week of March.

“On an average, we bury and process up to 30 Covid-19 suspected and positive bodies a month. But we have already processed the highest 56 bodies in April,” he added.    

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