Just a day after bodies already in state of decomposition were spotted at the river banks of Buxar city in Bihar, dozens of dead bodies were also found floating in India's Ganges River in Uttar Pradesh, Anadolu Agency reported Wednesday.
The nightmarish scene adds to woes of the people of India that now experience a ferocious and devastating second wave of the dreaded COVID-19.
Local officials said investigations are underway but despite the conduct of postmortem examination to ascertain the cause of deaths, the already-decomposing bodies made the effort futile.
The bodies were specifically seen in the city of Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh where locals believe those were of COVID-19 patients whose families must have decided to dispatch their remains to the river.
At least 70 bodies were retrieved in Buxar and were disposed of by the district administration.
According to Anadolu Agency, Buxar Superintendent of Police Neeraj Kumar confirmed there were already 71 bodies recovered so far. "They are four to five days old and are highly decomposed. The postmortem has been done, and we have conducted creation as well," he said.
India's health system has been overwhelmed by the surge in COVID-19 cases where official daily death toll has averaged around 4,000, leading to extreme shortage of hospital oxygen supplies, hospital beds and vaccines.
Meanwhile, Union Health Ministry on Wednesday said total active cases of COVID-19 in India stands at 3,715,221 and a decline in infections of more than 30,000 was recorded for the past 24 hours, the first time after over two months.