India’s devastating second wave came after a brief – and promising – respite.
Cases had dropped to below 20,000 a day in January and fell further in February, even dipping below 10,000 at one point. But cases began to climb again in March as people started going out more, wearing masks less and stopped following Covid protocols altogether.
A series of huge election rallies in poll-bound states and a massive Hindu festival that drew millions together appear to have hastened the surge.
Cases and deaths rose rapidly, far surpassing the first peak in September last year.
And India’s fragile healthcare system has struggled to cope, leaving beds, life-saving drugs and even oxygen in short supply.