Western media and vested interests tried to set the narrative that the bodies found in river Ganga during the second wave were victims of Covid-19. The study by the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research lab trashes any such conclusion.
A study by the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research has concluded that there was no presence of the Covid-19 virus in the Ganga water samples collected from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar during the second wave of Covid-19. The New Indian exclusively reported the findings of the study.
“Of total of 132 samples (378 sample triplicates/ 1134 technical triplicates) analyzed, none of the sample was found positive for presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” the conclusion of the 120-page report said.
“It’s now very clear that there was no COVID virus present in the Ganga river. Our report is based on an adequate number of sample size as well as the rigorous scientific procedure. The SOP was the same that we have used for more than 3.5 lakh samples, which we tested for humans for RT PCR for any presence of Coronavirus. But the result is that there was no Coronavirus in the water at all,” The New Indian quoted S K Barik, Director, CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR).
The CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, Lucknow, is a constituent laboratory of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research and was established in 1965. The second wave of Covid-19 hit in May-June this year, over a year after the lockdown in March last year.
During the second wave, western media, a section of Indian media and vested interest tried to set the narrative that there were many unaccounted Covid-9 deaths in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, and the bodies floating in river Ganga were of Covid-19 victims. Some media outlets reported that burying bodies along the bank of river Ganga was custom at some places in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Even earlier, when there was no Covid, bodies were floating in river Ganga. In January 2015, when Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, NDTV reported more than 100 dead bodies floating in the river Ganga in Kanpur and Unnao.
The study said, “Dead bodies being buried along the banks and floating in river Ganga has been reported in major cities with the fear of spreading SARS-CoV-2. Keeping in view of this alarming situation, various authorities such as NMCG, CPCB, SPCB and specialized virology testing institutes joined hands and initiated the-investigation of SARS-CoV-2 virus contamination and analysis of water quality due to disposal of dead bodies in river Ganga.”
“The investigation concluded that in each sampling site, the water quality was found to deviate from the standard norms. However, the overall water quality was not affected. The analysis report also shows that SARS-CoV-2 was not detected in any of the sites. Thus, it can be concluded that disposal of bodies did not largely affect the water quality of river Ganga, though few of the parameters deviated from the standard norms which may be due to other anthropogenic activities,” it concluded.