Scores of dead bodies have been found floating down the Ganges River in eastern India amid a ferocious surge in coronavirus infections in the country.
More unidentified corpses have been found floating in the Ganges river washed up by the banks near Ghazipur in the Uttar Pradesh state, a day after dozens of decomposed bodies were found in the river near the Buxar district in Bihar state.
Police officers and local people were at the site in Ghazipur on Tuesday to manage the scene while other officials investigated.
Local official, Mangla Prasad Singh said authorities were "trying to find out where did these dead bodies come from? How did they get here and their numbers?"
A Ghazipur local resident, Surinder, believed "the dead are being buried in the water" due to a shortage of wood for cremation, as is traditional in the Hindu religion.
Seventy-one bodies were retrieved from the Ganges river on Monday, officials in India's eastern Bihar state stated.
Authorities performed post mortems on Tuesday but have not been able to determine the cause of death due to the high level of decomposition of the bodies.
Photos and videos of the bodies floating in the river prompted outrage and speculation on social media that they may be COVID-19 fatalities, as a ferocious surge of infections has ripped through India in recent weeks. But this has not been confirmed by authorities.
Both Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have seen rising COVID-19 cases as infections in India grow faster than anywhere else.