The number of bodies buried in nine graveyards in Dhaka has increased by 24.82 per cent during the COVID-19 period in 2020 than before the outbreak in 2019.
According to statistics of both the city corporations, on an average 1,750 bodies were buried in the capital’s graveyards every month since March after the first COVID-19 infection had been detected.
The average number of burial per month was 1,402 between March and August in 2019.
Officials said that, every month they have to bury 348 more bodies which only meant additional pressure due to inadequate employees.
Dhaka South City Corporation run Azimpur and Jurain graveyards, while Dhaka North City Corporation operate Uttara Sector No 4, 12 and 14 graveyards, Banani graveyard, Mirpur Intellectuals, Rayerbazar and Khilgaon Taltola graveyard.
Recently Khilgaon was handed over to the DSCC.
Officials of the graveyards said that they were unable determine whether the death toll hike was due to COVID-19, since they have no document to support such an assumption.
On Tuesday, Bangladesh recorded an additional 36 deaths from COVID-19 and 1,892 infections in the past 24 hours, counting the death toll to 4,552 and infections to 3,29,251.
Bangladesh on March 8, reported the first COVID-19 positive cases while the first death was logged ten days later on March 18.
Due to the epidemic, the government had declared public holiday from March 26.
But the data tellingly point to a marked rise in death. In the last six months, starting from March, total 10,502 bodies were buried in Dhaka’s nine graveyards, whereas the number was 8,413 in 2019.
City corporation officials said that they know little about the reason behind the high rate of death as they just buried and relatives not bound to share the reason of death to them.
The city corporations were burying increasing number of bodies when many people died of COVID-19 as well as with symptoms of COVID-19.
After analysing the monthly data, it was found that the rate of bodies buried in the graveyards increased around 5 to 8 per cent in other normal months.
But in May the burials increased by around 50 per cent as only 1,433 bodied were buried in 2019 but it increased to 2,141 in 2020.
DNCC assistant social welfare officer Md Asaduzzaman said that the city corporation bury bodies as its assigned responsibility but they are not in a position to know the reason behind the deaths.
DSCC deputy social welfare officer Md Lutfar Rahman Chowdhury said that the city corporation bury anybody after councillor’s certificate.
He said that 201 bodies were buried in Jurain Graveyard in June 2018 which increased to 291 in 2019 and 346 in 2020.
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