Though the number of bodies found during the second wave was very high; however, a government-mandated study did not find traces of COVID-19 in Ganga.
HT quoted Kunwar Jeet Tivar, a district resident, saying, "At least 400-500 bodies have been buried" in the Sangam area itself. "This is a sacred place where people used to come to take holy baths. People no longer like to come here". A similar scenario was seen in the Unnao district, after which the local police carried out an inquiry to find more bodies.
Even Ghazipur and Bihar's Buxar saw decomposing bodies floating in the river. While some of these bodies were washed up the shores, others were pulled up by stray dogs. However, according to HT, there was confirmation if the buried bodies belonged to the COVID-19 victims.
According to BBC, on May 10, 71 corpses washed up on the riverbank in Bihar's Chausa village. Also, in the neighboring Ballia district, dozens of decomposing bodies were seen by people when they went for their morning dip in Ganga.
In Kannauj, Kanpur, Unnao, and Prayagraj, the river bed was dotted with shallow graves. At least 50 bodies were found at the nearby Mahadevi ghat, the BBC report said.
However, a government-mandated study found no traces of COVID-19 from the Ganga waters, India Today reported. The National Mission for Clean Ganga conducted the research under the Jal Shakti Ministry in collaboration with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research's (CSIR's) Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR) Lucknow, the Central Pollution Control Board, and the state pollution control boards.
Though the number of dead bodies found on the banks was unusually high during the second wave of COVID-19; however, we need to consider that burial of the dead on the banks of Ganga is not a new phenomenon. Also, since the government study did not show traces of COVID-19 in the water samples, the claim that hundreds of dead bodies of COVID-19 victims have been buried on the banks of river Ganga is only partly true.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.