No data on bodies dumped in Ganga during second Covid wave: Govt

The Centre has no data on the number of dead bodies of Covid victims that were dumped in the Ganga river during the second wave of the Covid pandemic, the Parliament was told on Monday.

Responding to a question by Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha member Derek O’Brien on the number of Covid-19 related dead bodies estimated to have been dumped in the Ganga, Minister of State for Jal Shakti Bishweswar Tudu said: “The incidents of ‘unclaimed/ unidentified, burnt or partially burnt dead bodies, found floating in river or on grounds, in the shallow depth, on the banks of the river Ganga’ were reported form certain districts in the States of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, in the media. National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) sought from concerned state governments, a report on the dead bodies found floating and action taken or contemplated for ensuring proper handling, management and disposal of dead bodies by the state authorities for ensuring the protection of the river Ganga.

“Information regarding number of Covid-19 related dead bodies estimated to have been dumped in the river Ganga is not available.”

Responding to another question on water-born disease, Tudu told the house that total 59,07,572 cases of acute diarrhoeal diseases have been reported in 2021 against total 89,34,341 cases in 2020. Viral Hepatitis A cases have also been reduced to 4,077 cases in 2021, against 5,303 cases in 2020. Only 1,359 cases of Hepatitis E have been reported in 2021, against 2,362 in 2020, he said.

However, the Cholera cases have risen to 209 in 2021 from 70 cases in 2020. Leptospirosis has also reported rise at 6,086 cases in 2021 as against 4,950 in 2020.

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