Over 100 bodies burnt every day, says chief coordinator of Nepal's Pashupati crematorium

Kathmandu, NepalWritten By: Saloni MurarkaUpdated: May 16, 2021, 01:19 PM IST
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Coronavirus in Nepal (file photo) Photograph:(ANI)

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The bodies are brought to the crematorium site from hospitals by Nepal Army personnel and PADT staff conduct the last rites

Meet the COVID-19 warrior, Subash Karki, who is giving us a lesson on importance of service and how it must not be forgotten. 

Karki, chief coordinator of the electric crematorium run by the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) in Nepal’s Kathmandu told WION that since a few days, the staff has been burning over 100 bodies daily. 

The bodies are brought to the crematorium site from hospitals by Nepal Army personnel and PADT staff conduct the last rites. 

The Trust has begun conducting cremation on the shores of the Bagmati River. 

“Since the last week, we have been receiving over 100 bodies and lately, the numbers have risen drastically. A few days back, we received 110 bodies. Usually, we manage the cremation of around 90 bodies in a day,” Karki told WION. 

Karki said there are only 35 staff members to burn over 100 bodies in a day, “I have to manage the situation and the staffs get tired of burning the bodies endlessly.”

There are three machines, two electric and one hybrid connected to a wooden pyre, which are operating at the cremation centre. 

"We receive bodies from Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur and Kabre. There are people working day and night at the cremation site,” he added. 

Subash Karki has been supervising the cremation of bodies for the last three years along the bank of Bagmati River near the Lord Pashupatinath Temple. 

He reaches the cremation site as early as 6 am and manages the bodies till 12 pm.

The Chief Coordinator said the situation is still under control and hopes it does not get uncontrollable. 

When asked, how does he manage to connect with his family as working at the crematorium holds a high risk of infection, he said, “I am scared but this is my job. I have a huge responsibility that I need to fulfill. I stay away from my family so that they do not get infected, however, my son lives with me." 

Nepal on Saturday registered 187 fatalities due to Covid and 8,046 fresh cases, taking the death toll to 4,856 and nationwide total infection count to 447,704. 

In Kathmandu, the best private hospitals are turning patients away for lack of beds and supplies. Many hospitals have issued statements expressing inability to admit anymore COVID-19 patients due to critical shortage of oxygen.