AP PHOTOS: Mass funeral pyres reflect India’s COVID crisis

Outside graveyards in cities like Delhi, which currently has the highest daily cases, ambulance after ambulance waits in line to cremate the dead. Burial grounds are running out of space in many cities as glowing funeral pyres blaze through the night.

The nation of nearly 1.4 billion people set a global record of new daily infections for a fifth straight day Monday. The 350,179 new cases pushed India’s total past 17 million, behind only the United States. Deaths rose by 2,812 in the past 24 hours, bringing total fatalities to 195,123, the Health Ministry said, though the number is believed to be a vast undercount.

A stark symbol of the crisis are the overwhelmed graveyards and crematoriums, stacked to the brim with the dead.

In the central city of Bhopal, crematoriums have added pyres. One has been forced to skip the exhaustive rituals Hindus believe release the soul from the cycle of rebirth.

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