CREMATORIA in India are being overwhelmed as the country struggles with a surge of coronavirus cases. Images on social media show bodies being burned on pavements owing to a lack of capacity.
The country is now reporting the world’s highest daily increases in cases: more than 200,000 new cases a day are reported.
A lockdown was imposed on Monday night in Delhi. While places of worship were allowed to open, a 50-person limit was imposed for weddings, and 20 for funerals.
Delhi is the worst hit city in India, although Maharashtra, which includes Mumbai, is the worst-hit state. A new variant of Covid-19 has been identified in the country, although it is not yet known whether that is behind the increase in cases.
The Bishop of North East India, the Rt Revd Michael Herenz, said that this had come just as life was returning to normal for many, and as church services had resumed. “Things had become almost normal,” he said. “Churches are making efforts to implement social distancing, face masks, and sanitisation. Now, certain districts in north-east India have started restrictions. However, still no curfew or lockdown. For tourists, Covid tests are mandatory. Vaccination is in full swing. Churches are advising members to maintain cautions.”
He said that the Church was praying for healing for the whole world.
Boris Johnson this week postponed his planned trip to India. The country was added to the “red list” for travellers to the UK. From 4 a.m. today (Friday), most people who have travelled from India in the past ten days will be refused entry.
Holders of British or Irish passports, or people with UK residence rights, will be allowed into the country, but they will have to stay in quarantine in a government-approved hotel for ten days.