India’s Contagion Trains

India’s spring lockdown left tens of millions of migrant workers with no work or food—and little choice but to board special trains back home.

The trains were meant to spare the horrific suffering of migrants, who were dying from thirst, heat, hunger, and exhaustion as they attempted to walk home.

Instead, with chaotic attempts at screening and packed cars, the trains spread the virus to the country’s far corners.

In the rural district of Ganjam, people had been untouched by the pandemic—but soon saw people dying around them. Officials call the connection between the trains and cases clear-cut.

This must-read describes the despair that enveloped rural districts like Ganjam—fueled by a disastrous lack of lockdown planning at the highest levels.

The New York Times

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