20 Apr 2021

Covid funeral pyres burn India’s dead amid devastating second wave

With India recording over 200,000 new Covid cases every day, the country is firmly in the grips of a second wave that’s proving much worse than the first.

It now has the second highest number of cases globally, after the United States, and its capital New Delhi is the worst affected city, where the hospitals are expected to run out of oxygen tomorrow.

India took its eye off the ball earlier this year, when Covid infections fell to new lows following a successful lockdown.

But numbers grew gradually in March, hitting more than 100,000 by April 4.

The new daily case numbers had almost tripled by the end of last week, with more than 270,000 cases being officially recorded.

It’s a similar story with Covid-related deaths.

On February 15, just 81 were officially reported, which for a country of over a billion people was very low.

By March 15, this had risen steadily to 131 deaths in a day.

But in the last month there’s been a sharp rise, with a new record of close to 1,800 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours.

Mandakini Gahlot reports now from New Delhi.