India’s disaster hangs over countries worldwide wrestling with new coronavirus
Countries worldwide wrestling with new coronavirus surges are trying to ensure they aren’t hit by an India-style disaster. They face many of the same risks, including large populations that have shirked restrictions and fragile health systems shaken under the strain.
In a province along the Nile in southern Egypt, hospitals have been flooded with COVID-19 patients, a main hot spot in a third spike swelling across the country. Doctors in Sohag province warn the health system there could collapse, even as the government rushes in new supplies.
India has been hit by a catastrophic surge of COVID-19 infections after its prime minister boasted of vanquishing the pandemic and following multiple massive crowding events. New cases and deaths skyrocketed nearly 30-fold during March and April. The health system has been overwhelmed, leaving patients desperate for oxygen and other supplies.
Wealthier nations, as they immunize more of their populations, are finding room to open up. But countries where vaccination has been slow or minimal face grimmer prospects. They must grapple with whether to lock down to thwart new surges and risk damaging their economies — all with the possibility of an India-style tragedy looming.