The bodies of Covid-19 victims have piled up in morgues and crematoria in Raipur, as the Chhattisgarh administration struggles to cope with the sudden increase in cases of viral infection and death.

In some videos on social media, bodies were seen lying on stretchers outside the mortuary at Dr BR Ambedkar Memorial Hospital in Raipur (DBRAMH), the largest hospital operated by the state government , and the last rites of the victims were performed from morning until late at night in the crematoriums here. .

Speaking to PTI on Tuesday, Health Minister TS Singh Deo said the overall situation was “of great concern” and that the sudden increase in Covid-19 cases and deaths posed a challenge to authorities. “The district administration and the municipality have been requested to ensure that the bodies are cremated as soon as possible,” he said.

The situation was also grim in the neighboring district of Durg. As of April 1, 861 people have died from Covid-19 in Chhattisgarh, Raipur reporting 305 deaths and Durg 213, according to official data.

The minister said there was generally no delay in cremating the bodies of Covid-19 victims belonging to Raipur. But, for victims from other districts who died in hospitals here, it takes some time to complete the process of transferring bodies to their respective locations, he said.

An official from the Raipur Municipal Society said that for the past two days, the final rites of around 100 victims have been performed every day in crematoriums and cemeteries here.

Patients with various ailments, including Covid-19, were treated in DBRMAH. The bodies of non-Covid patients and those related to forensic cases were also kept in the hospital morgue, said Pulak Bhattacharya, Raipur’s additional municipal commissioner.

The bodies of victims from other districts were kept in the mortuary of Raipur hospital before being transferred to their places of origin, he said.