This measure has been taken so that there is no delay in the cremation of COVID-19 victims.

A municipal worker dressed in PPE stands before the funeral pyre of a COVID-19 victim at a crematoriumPTI
Coronavirus Coronavirus Friday, April 16, 2021 - 12:17

With Karnataka witnessing a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has reserved seven electric crematoriums – at Medi Agrahara, Kudlu, Panathur, Kengeri, Sumanahalli, Peenya and Banashankari – exclusively for COVID-19 patient cremations. Earlier, four crematoriums — Medi Agrahara, Kudlu, Panathur and Kengeri — were set aside for COVID-19 deaths, and now three more — Sumanahalli, Peenya and Banashankari — have been added, in view of the rising number of COVID-19 deaths in the state. This measure has been taken so that there is no delay in the cremation of COVID-19 victims. On Thursday, Bengaluru reported its highest ever COVID-19 cases at 10,497 and 30 deaths.

According to an order issued by the BBMP, these crematoriums have been asked to function from 8.00 am to 8.00 pm. The cost of the hearse, as well as all the other funeral expenses, will be borne by the BBMP. No fees will be collected from the family of the COVID-19 patients for the cremation. The BBMP order also instructed concerned zone authorities to provide the necessary sanitary equipment and sanitisation to those working at the crematoriums.

On Thursday evening, BBMP Commissioner Gaurav Gupta tweeted that private ambulances will be free and cremation of COVID-19 patients will be done free of cost.

“Owing to difficulties faced in performing the last rites of those who died due to #COVID19 infections, it hasbeen decided that private ambulance and cremation will be available at no cost for the family of the deceased. The #BBMP intends to do it's best to ensure hassle-free facilities for the people of Bengaluru who are burdened immensely by the pandemic (sic),” he tweeted.

With cases rising in the state, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa held a meeting that began at 9.30 am on Friday, in which

Health Minister K Sudhakar and BBMP Commissioner Gaurav Gupta were also present. This meeting comes two days ahead of the all-party meeting, scheduled to be held on April 18, to discuss Karnataka’s plan of action to combat the pandemic.

Karnataka has been seeing a sharp surge in COVID-19 cases. It reported its highest single day spike of 14,738 fresh coronavirus cases and 66 related fatalities, taking the total number of infections to 11.09 lakh and the death toll to 13,112, the Health department said on Thursday. Out of the 14,738 fresh cases reported on Thursday, 10,497 cases were from Bengaluru Urban alone. The day also saw 3,591 patients getting discharged after recovery.

On Thursday, the BBMP Commissioner also announced that 10 new COVID-19 Care Centres (CCCs) will be started in Bengaluru. The centres will come up in hotels, hostels, private hospitals, colleges and wedding halls, and will be made operational in three days, he added.

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