It Keeps Getting Worse in India

For 5 straight days, the country has clocked record COVID-19 case numbers as the country’s leaders face backlash for allowing large religious festivals and election rallies to proceed this year, CNBC reports.

Status report:

  • On Monday, there were 352,991 new reported daily cases.

  • Officially, 2,000+ are dying each day—but these figures are likely many times higher, as evidenced by crematorium grounds “where the fires never stop.” Staff are reportedly told not to list COVID-19 as the cause of death, The New York Times reports

  • The AP’s harrowing photos illustrate the endless stream of lives lost.

  • Even critically ill patients are being turned away from packed hospitals, and desperate families looking to treat loved ones at home are turning to an exorbitantly expensive black market laced with questionable drugs, BBC reports.

  • There are concerns, though unconfirmed, that the “double mutant” B.1.617 variant is driving the surge, NPR Goats and Soda reports.

Global response:


  • Several countries, including the US, France, and China—as well as tech giants like Microsoft—have pledged aid to India or are in talks to do so.

  • President Joe Biden promised to send raw materials to ramp up India’s AstraZeneca vaccine production line, plus ventilators, PPE, and therapeutics.

But with the richest countries still putting themselves first on the vaccine front, is this all too little too late? More on that below.

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