UNNAO: Days after bodies of suspected COVID-19 patients washed up on the shores of the river Ganga in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, more have been found buried in the sand in Unnao.
A team of the local police is in the process of carrying out an inquiry and searches are being conducted for more bodies.
According to District Magistrate Ravinder Kumar, the bodies were found buried in an area far from the river.
"Our team has found buried bodies in an area far from the river. Search being conducted for more bodies in other areas. I have asked a team to carry out an inquiry. Action will be taken accordingly," the DM said.
Over the last two days, horrific scenes of dead bodies floating in the Ganga river in Uttar Pradesh's Ghazipur and Bihar's Buxar caused panic among locals who feared that the bodies were of deceased COVID patients.
According to Bihar Minister Sanjay Kumar Jha, 71 bodies were taken out from the river in Buxar district and their last rites performed and a net has been placed in the Ganga in Ranighat, bordering UP and Bihar, to stop any similar incident from happening again.
Local residents have complained of stench coming from the bloated, decomposed corpses and accused the authorities of ineptitude.
These incidents have sparked fears about the scale of the Covid crisis in the country. Authorities believe the relatives of those who succumbed to the virus, may not have been able to find space for the last rites.
The state recorded 18,125 fresh COVID-19 cases that raised the infection count to 15,63,238, while 329 new fatalities pushed the death toll from the pandemic to 16,372, officials said on Wednesday.
On the bright side, the number of active cases in the state has come down by over 1.04 lakh in the past 11 days, Additional Chief Secretary, Health, Amit Mohan Prasad said.
The COVID-19 recovery rate now stands at 85.7 per cent in Uttar Pradesh, he said.
On April 30, there were about 3.10 lakh active cases, while the number currently stands at 2,06,615, the official said.
With this, the total number of patients in the state who have recovered from the infection has risen to 13,40,251, Prasad added.
So far, over 4.36 crore samples have been tested in the state, including more than 2.45 lakh samples that were tested on Tuesday, he said.
Among the fresh cases, 1,52,725 are in home isolation, Prasad said.
He said that following the 'track, test and treat' policy, surveillance teams of the state government have reached 3.47 crore households, covering a total of 16.73 crore people.
Prasad said while 1.11 crore people have been administered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, 29.35 lakh have received the second shot.
The programme of vaccinating people in the 18-44 age group is also going on in the state and so far 2.16 lakh in this category have been administered vaccines, he said.
(With PTI Inputs)