Bengaluru’s Wilson Garden crematorium will be closed from May 20 to May 27 for repair work said the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on Wednesday, May 19. The temporary shutdown of the facility comes amid an increase in fatalities among COVID-19 patients in the state. Prior to this, the Banashankari crematorium in the south zone was shut for repairs as was the facility at Sumanahalli.
Reports suggested that the facilities needed maintenance and repair work as the increased demand had caused damage to the furnace. The BBMP had earlier announced that Banashankari, Medi Agrahara, Kudlu, Panathur, Kengeri, Summanahalli, Peenya crematoriums will be used only for COVID-19 deaths. Five further crematoriums were designated for the same, of which TR Mills and Tavarkere crematoriums are open-air facilities. The two facilities are used for non-COVID-related deaths as well.
BBMP Marshalls have been stationed at these crematoriums to ensure COVID-19 safety protocols are being adhered to, including mandatory usage of PPE kits.
In corresponding developments, the BBMP has limited the number of people attending the funeral of a COVID-19 victim to five (from an earlier 20). Meanwhile, all cremation-related facilities were made free of cost for COVID-19 victims by the BBMP amidst the second wave. They also urged people to use the helpline constituted by the civic body with regards to cremations. The Zonal Commissioners were also directed to seek help from respective DCPs in case police assistance was required in enforcing COVID-19 Appropriate Behaviour.
Bengaluru has witnessed a sudden surge in COVID-19 related deaths recently. The toll for deaths in the city stood, cumulatively, at 10,020 after the city reported 298 more fatalities on Monday, starkly in contrast to the 66 COVID-19 deaths reported in the month of January.