World

India’s covid-19 tragedy: Photos and videos show a nation on the brink

India’s crematoriums are inundated. Hospitals have run out of oxygen. Daily case numbers keep climbing.

The Biden administration promised to send help to the country Sunday, as India marked a record high in confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths — only to break those records again Monday with more than 350,000 new cases and 2,800 deaths.

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People carry the body of a person who died of covid-19 during a mass cremation in New Delhi on April 26.

Adnan Abidi/Reuters

Adnan Abidi/Reuters

Crematoriums, flooded with the dead, are skipping personal ceremonies and Hindu rituals to keep up with the bodies.

“The virus is swallowing our city’s people like a monster,” an official in the central city of Bhopal told the Associated Press. “… We are just burning bodies as they arrive. It is as if we are in the middle of a war.”

Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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The Washington Post

Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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The Washington Post

Adnan Abidi/Reuters

In hospitals, oxygen is in short supply. While nations have pledged or provided canisters and other assistance, the health infrastructure in the country has collapsed. Hospital beds are hard to find, and people are dying in line while waiting for care. Some have turned to the black market to obtain medicine or care.

Adnan Abidi/Reuters

A patient wearing an oxygen mask is wheeled inside a coronavirus hospital in Ahmedabad on April 26.

Amit Dave/Reuters

Amit Dave/Reuters

A patient breathes with the help of oxygen inside a van parked under a tent in Ghaziabad.

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Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images

A patient struggles to breath.

Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images

Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images

Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images

Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images

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The Washington Post

As the virus continues to spread, vaccines are in high demand. The country’s Health Ministry said Sunday that it has administered more than 140 million doses in 99 days. And Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that anyone over 18 would be eligible for a jab beginning May 1. But inoculating the country of more than 1.3 billion people remains a daunting task.

The Washington Post

Rafiq Maqbool/AP

Rafiq Maqbool/AP

Niharika Kulkarni/Reuters

Public anger has turned on the Modi government, which critics say allowed the country to reopen too quickly after a dramatic drop in case numbers throughout the winter. Now, lockdowns have been imposed across the country, with violators facing arrest or fines.

Niharika Kulkarni/Reuters

Police stop commuters on April 25 to check if they are allowed to travel during a lockdown imposed in Chennai.

Arun Sankar/AFP/Getty Images

Arun Sankar/AFP/Getty Images

Police detain men who flouted the coronavirus safety protocols in Siliguri on April 25.

Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images

Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images

Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images

Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images

The damaging second wave is bringing tragedy to many homes, and experts warn limited testing supplies means the massive case count doesn’t tell the whole story. As more countries mobilize to send aid, some say the government could have acted sooner to stave off such devastation.

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Relatives pray before they bury the body of a person who died of covid-19 in Guwahati on April 25.

Anupam Nath/AP

Anupam Nath/AP

Anupam Nath/AP

Anupam Nath/AP

“They should have looked at what was going on in other parts of the world and understood that it was a matter of time before they would be in a similar situation,” Krutika Kuppalli, assistant professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at the Medical University of South Carolina, told the AP.

At least one person is dying every four minutes in the capital, New Delhi.

Anupam Nath/AP

Anupam Nath/AP

Umar Farooq mourns next to the body of his mother, who died of covid-19, at a graveyard in Srinagar on April 26.

Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images

Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images