Hyderabad: Several Facebook and WhatsApp users are sharing an image of four healthcare workers dressed in PPE kits, carrying bodies of patients who died of COVID-19 in a garbage van. Neitizens claim that this incident took place in Uttar Pradesh recently.
The claim that this incident took place in Uttar Pradesh is false.
Newsmeter found that this incident took place in Chhattisgarh's Rajnandgaon in April 2021. According to news reports by the Free Press Journal, NDTV and The Wire, a garbage van was used to carry the bodies of the patients who died of COVID-19 in Rajnandgaon. When asked about the reasoning behind using garbage truck, the chief medical officer said, "Arranging the vehicles is the responsibility of the Nagar Panchayat and the CMO."
Due to lack of ambulances, the Chhattisgarh government converted trucks into vehicles to carry dead bodies. Sometimes, more than eight bodies were also transported in these trucks to the crematorium. BJP ex-minister Kedar Kashyap has also tweeted the image in April and mentioned the location as Chhattisgarh.
The same image, by Economic Times, was titled, "Four COVID-19 patients died in Dongargaon block of Rajnandgaon district on April 14 allegedly due to non-availability of oxygen. Three of them died at a COVID care centre while the fourth died at a community health centre. They were taken for cremation allegedly in a garbage vehicle. Garbage vehicles were allegedly used to ferry the bodies of patients who died of COVID-19 in Rajnandgaon."
Hence, it is clear that the viral image is not from Uttar Pradesh but was taken in April in Chhattisgarh.