Photos: Delhi’s Nigambodh Ghat crematorium struggles with Covid-19 toll

Smoke from the open-air blazes stings the eyes of waiting mourners and workers at Nigambodh Ghat, New Delhi's biggest and oldest crematorium as the facility works round the clock to cremate victims of the Covid-19. Delhi has so far reported over 760 deaths due to the coronavirus disease. Traditional funeral pyres have now been drafted in to cremate the bodies of those lost to the pandemic in the national capital as furnaces struggle to keep up with the mounting death toll.

UPDATED ON JUN 07, 2020 06:52 PM IST 7 Photos
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Relatives and workers wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) watch as the body of a person who died of COVID-19 is cremated in a pyre, at the Nigambodh Ghat cremation ground in New Delhi. Traditional funeral pyres have been drafted in to cremate bodies of coronavirus victims in Delhi as furnaces struggle to keep up with the mounting death toll. (Sajjad Hussain / AFP)

Relatives and workers wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) watch as the body of a person who died of COVID-19 is cremated in a pyre, at the Nigambodh Ghat cremation ground in New Delhi. Traditional funeral pyres have been drafted in to cremate bodies of coronavirus victims in Delhi as furnaces struggle to keep up with the mounting death toll. (Sajjad Hussain / AFP)

UPDATED ON JUN 07, 2020 06:52 PM IST
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Relatives watch from inside a room as the body of a person who died of COVID-19 is cremated at the Nigambodh Ghat cremation ground. Delhi is one of the hardest-hit states in India from the coronavirus with about 27,654 cases and more than 760 dead as of June 7 according to the covid19india.org tracker. (Sajjad Hussain / AFP)

Relatives watch from inside a room as the body of a person who died of COVID-19 is cremated at the Nigambodh Ghat cremation ground. Delhi is one of the hardest-hit states in India from the coronavirus with about 27,654 cases and more than 760 dead as of June 7 according to the covid19india.org tracker. (Sajjad Hussain / AFP)

UPDATED ON JUN 07, 2020 06:52 PM IST
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Workers pictured while rebuilding furnaces to meet the increase in demand for cremations due to the coronavirus pandemic. The rising number of bodies arriving from hospitals has forced the facility, situated next to the city’s historic Red Fort, to extend its operational hours. (Sajjad Hussain / AFP)

Workers pictured while rebuilding furnaces to meet the increase in demand for cremations due to the coronavirus pandemic. The rising number of bodies arriving from hospitals has forced the facility, situated next to the city’s historic Red Fort, to extend its operational hours. (Sajjad Hussain / AFP)

UPDATED ON JUN 07, 2020 06:52 PM IST
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Workers pull a cart loaded with wood that is fed into traditional cremation pyres. Funerals these days begin at 8.00am and go on late into the night at the cremation ground. (Sajjad Hussain / AFP)

Workers pull a cart loaded with wood that is fed into traditional cremation pyres. Funerals these days begin at 8.00am and go on late into the night at the cremation ground. (Sajjad Hussain / AFP)

UPDATED ON JUN 07, 2020 06:52 PM IST
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The committee that runs Nigambodh Ghat told AFP the crematorium has handled more than 500 coronavirus funerals in two months. Authorities have ordered victims be incinerated in modern furnaces as a precaution against infection. (Sajjad Hussain / AFP)

The committee that runs Nigambodh Ghat told AFP the crematorium has handled more than 500 coronavirus funerals in two months. Authorities have ordered victims be incinerated in modern furnaces as a precaution against infection. (Sajjad Hussain / AFP)

UPDATED ON JUN 07, 2020 06:52 PM IST
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Workers move the body of person who died of COVID-19, before cremation at Nigambodh Ghat. Suman Kumar Gupta of the crematorium management committee said families arriving for a funeral had to queue to pass through a “sanitation tunnel” at the entrance and then wait hours for the ceremony, prompting anxiety about the risk of infection, AFP reported. (Sajjad Hussain / AFP)

Workers move the body of person who died of COVID-19, before cremation at Nigambodh Ghat. Suman Kumar Gupta of the crematorium management committee said families arriving for a funeral had to queue to pass through a “sanitation tunnel” at the entrance and then wait hours for the ceremony, prompting anxiety about the risk of infection, AFP reported. (Sajjad Hussain / AFP)

UPDATED ON JUN 07, 2020 06:52 PM IST
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A relative wearing PPE coveralls stands in front of a burning pyre. Only three of the six furnaces at Nigambodh Ghat are currently working, so for the past week wood pyres, the traditional structures used in Hindu funeral rituals for thousands of years have been allowed to help clear the backlog. (Sajjad Hussain / AFP)

A relative wearing PPE coveralls stands in front of a burning pyre. Only three of the six furnaces at Nigambodh Ghat are currently working, so for the past week wood pyres, the traditional structures used in Hindu funeral rituals for thousands of years have been allowed to help clear the backlog. (Sajjad Hussain / AFP)

UPDATED ON JUN 07, 2020 06:52 PM IST
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