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Dispatch from India: A sixth of the world’s population awaits tomorrow with horror

What do hundreds of thousands of cases a day do to a country?

By Mahesh Rao  

Funeral pyres for Covid victims in New Delhi. Photo: ZUMA Press Inc / Alamy Stock Photo

What does a health care catastrophe in a country of almost 1.4bn people sound like? Ambulance sirens wail night and day, phones beep relentlessly with messages of new Covid-positive diagnoses, desperate pleas for help, brief announcements of lives lost. Newscasters on most mainstream channels report on the numbingly grim scenes, but with little analysis and no demands for accountability. This, of course, is the soundtrack for anyone lucky enough to be cloistered at home merely fearing the worst. Others who have to travel to work, or seek medical treatment, will have heard and seen far worse.

India is…

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