KEY POINTS

  • Six more bodies of suspected COVID-19 victims were spotted in India's Ganges River Sunday
  • Officials said the bodies appeared to have come from far-off places
  • Last rites were performed on them in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines

More decomposing bodies of suspected COVID-19 victims were found floating in India's Ganges River, officials announced Monday.

At least six bodies were spotted over the weekend by Uttar Pradesh officials in the state's portion of the major river, the Times of India reported. 

Fatehpur's sub-divisional magistrate, Pramod Jha, said a search operation was conducted after they were informed of the bodies Sunday morning.

According to Jha, the retrieved bodies could not be identified as they were already in a highly decomposed state. He added that they appeared to have been from far-off places.

Medical personnel performed the last rites for the bodies at Bhitora Ganga Ghat in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines, Jha said.

The report comes days after two men were caught on camera dumping the body of a COVID-19 victim into another river in Uttar Pradesh. Police filed a case against Sanjay Kumar and Manoj Kumar after a video of the Saturday incident was shared on social media.

The two can be seen in the video preparing to throw a body into the Rapti river from a bridge in the Kotwali region of Balrampur, with one of the men even wearing a white personal protective equipment (PPE) suit.

Authorities identified the body as Pram Nath Mishra. He was said to have died in a hospital Friday after contracting the disease on May 25. His relationship with the two men was not disclosed.

Two weeks before the incident, at least 52 bodies were recovered in Uttar Pradesh's Ballia district. Officials, however, did not disclose the exact number of bodies retrieved.

Authorities are still trying to determine the origin of the bodies. The incidents are believed to have been caused by the rising costs of cremation, an important step in funeral rites, in the country.

India is one of the countries most affected by COVID-19, with data from Johns Hopkins University indicating it has recorded over 28 million confirmed cases and more than 331,000 deaths as of writing.

covid19-5051314_1920 Representation. India is one of the most affected country by the virus, with over 28 million recorded cases and more than 331,000 deaths. Photo: Pixabay