05/06/2021, 14.09
INDIA
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Bangalore Church offers schools for Covid-19 patients

by Nirmala Carvalho

In the last 24 hours the country has reached a new record of 412,262 new infections and almost 4 thousand victims with a rapid increase in Karnataka. Archbishop Peter Machado: "We open up our facilities to patients who need assistance".

Bangalore (AsiaNews) - For the second time in a week in India, the number of new coronavirus cases registered in a single day exceeds 400 thousand. The data released today mark yet another record: in the last 24 hours, 412,262 people tested positive for the Covid-19 test, while the deaths have become 3,980. The total death toll since the start of the pandemic has risen to 230,168.

In this race still far from stopping, the internal geography of the contagion changes, with new Indian states that in recent days have entered the most critical phase. Karnataka is among them after yesterday recording a peak, adding 50,112 new cases alone.

In the city of Bangalore there have been 161 deaths and in the last 72 hours there have been 40 deaths simply due to lack of oxygen. The crematoria also saw a sharp increase in the victims caused by Covid, to the point that yesterday afternoon the hearses were turned away due to lack of available space.

In Bangalore, crematoria and cemeteries are struggling to find space for dozens of victims of the pandemic every day. The mortuaries of the city's hospitals are full despite the local government's efforts to speed up the funeral process, streamlining bureaucratic procedures and opening more and more crematoria and burial grounds. In the metropolis there are now 15 electric crematoria in operation for the victims of Covid-19 and two other open spaces for wooden pyres capable of carrying out 25 cremations simultaneously. In one of these places in Tavarekere, more than 50 cremations were carried out on Friday and Saturday, according to the testimony of volunteers who help in these rites for the pandemic dead.

In the face of this grave situation, the local Catholic Church is mobilizing by making its own structures available. Archbishop Peter Machado tells AsiaNews: “Covid-19 has already taken away three diocesan priests, five religious and 12 nuns. The situation is very difficult, the public and private systems are on the verge of collapse with a severe shortage of beds, intensive care places, oxygen and medicines”.

“The archdiocese of Bangalore - continues Msgr. Machado - wants to offer all the help and support possible: we will transform our facilities into temporary hospitals for patients affected by the virus. Those in need of special assistance will be referred to these temporary centres set up by the archdiocese to ease the pressure on hospitals. We have made a school available for each hospital, so that it can be used as a post-Covid care center. The Azim Premji Foundation, which with various initiatives is committed to improving the quality of education especially in elementary schools in rural areas, is also offering advice and financial support in this difficult time”.

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