As deaths from Covid mount in Gujarat, newspapers are filling up with obituaries. The state reported 13,105 new coronavirus infections and 137 deaths on April 22 but it’s widely suspected to be undercounting them. A look at the Rajkot editions of two leading Gujarati papers on Friday only reinforces the suspicion: eight of the 20 pages of Sandesh and four of Divya Bhaskar’s 14 pages are dedicated to obituaries. Yet, Rajkot has reported a total of 354 Covid deaths since the pandemic began last year.
The number of obituaries and condolence notes in local papers has been rising steadily over the past two months, possibly reflecting a rise in Covid deaths, even though some of the announcements are repeated.
Some of the obituaries published on Friday mention that there would only be a “telephonic prayer meeting” for the departed soul in view of the “current situation”.
A particularly sad obituary in Bhaskar carries a couple’s picture. Amarsingh Jadeja, it states without mentioning the cause, died on April 20 and his wife, Binduba Jadeja, the next day. A prayer meeting for them will be held telephonically.