At first look, this footage of a motorcycle being pushed via the streets of India amid the nation’s Covid disaster seems to point out nothing extra uncommon than three individuals sharing the saddle.

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However actually, the heartbreaking video exhibits two sons gripping their mom’s lifeless physique between them as they take her for burial because of a scarcity of ambulances after she died of the virus.

The brothers, Narendra Chenchu and Ramesh, had been making an attempt to get their mom – in her 50s and named regionally as G Chenchu – admitted to hospital in Andhra Pradesh state on Tuesday when she collapsed and died.

With no person out there to take her for cremation, the pair have been pressured to place her on their bike and trip 9 miles so she may very well be given her final rites.

In the meantime in Ambarpur, a city in northern Uttar Pradesh state, extra photos emerged of a 70-year-old man pressured to hunch his spouse’s physique throughout his bicycle and push her to a neighbouring village for cremation after locals refused to hold out the ceremony fearing they could catch the virus.

Pictures present the frail-looking man making an attempt to push the bike alongside, after which crouched along side the highway after the bike and physique fell right into a heap. Police have been referred to as and managed to summon an ambulance for the person, so his spouse’s physique may very well be cremated.  

The surprising photos emerged as India reported yet one more day of file numbers – 379,257 circumstances and three,645 deaths – with the nation’s disaster displaying no signal of easing. 

However in Uttar Pradesh state, chief minister Yogi Adityanath was accused of making an attempt to cowl up the dire scenario by threatening to arrest and seize the property of anybody reporting a scarcity of oxygen and hospital beds.

Mr Adityanath, a right-wing ally of Prime Minister Modi, has beforehand denied any scarcity of ‘beds, oxygen or life-saving medication’ within the state and accused these saying in any other case of spreading ‘rumours and propaganda’.

Police subsequently arrested a person who had been posting on social media trying to find oxygen for a his 88-year-old relative, saying his ‘false tweet’ had prompted others to accuse the federal government of wrongdoing.  

Elsewhere in India at present: 

  • Elections have been allowed to go forward in West Begnal state with thousands and thousands of individuals heading to the polls and little signal of social distancing in place
  • Authorities chief scientific advisor Okay Vijay Raghavan admitted extra ought to have been performed to organize for the second wave, and that folks acquired complacent after the primary wave ended 
  • Medics stated the an infection has unfold from cities to rural areas the place healthcare is commonly non-existent, with individuals turning to witch medical doctors for ‘cures’ 
  • Delhi’s chief minister stated town at the moment has ‘no vaccines’ out there regardless of the federal government inviting everybody over the age of 18 to use for one, and has no thought when extra will arrive 
  • Fb briefly blocked posts calling on Prime Minister Modi to resign, simply days after Twitter blocked posts criticising the federal government’s response to the disaster
  • Well being Minister Harsh Vardhan claimed India has the ‘lowest Covid fatality fee on the planet’ when evaluating circumstances to deaths, although most observers imagine the dying determine to be massively under-estimated 
  • Officers confirmed 9.1million Hindu pilgrims attended this yr’s Kumbh Mela pageant which happened between January and April, with Covid circumstances within the state the place it happened hovering 1,800% within the remaining weeks
Brothers Narendra Chenchu and Ramesh had been trying to get their mother, named locally G Chenchu and aged in her 50s, admitted to hospital in Andhra Pradesh state when she collapsed and died of Covid

Brothers Narendra Chenchu and Ramesh had been making an attempt to get their mom, named regionally G Chenchu and aged in her 50s, admitted to hospital in Andhra Pradesh state when she collapsed and died of Covid

With no ambulances available to take her for cremation, the brothers were forced to pin her dead body between their own and ride on a motorbike for nine miles so she could be given her last rites

With no ambulances out there to take her for cremation, the brothers have been pressured to pin her lifeless physique between their very own and trip on a motorcycle for 9 miles so she may very well be given her final rites

A 70-year-old man in northern Uttar Pradesh state was pictured pushing the body of his wife along on a bike to a creation ground after locals refused to give her the last rites, fearing they would catch Covid from her

A 70-year-old man in northern Uttar Pradesh state was pictured pushing the physique of his spouse alongside on a motorcycle to a creation floor after locals refused to offer her the final rites, fearing they might catch Covid from her

Family members bring a relative suffering from to a hospital in Allahabad, India, for treatment

Relations convey a relative affected by to a hospital in Allahabad, India, for remedy

A woman suffering from Covid-19 coronavirus sits on a stretcher before being admitted in a hospital for in Allahabad

A girl affected by Covid-19 coronavirus sits on a stretcher earlier than being admitted in a hospital for in Allahabad

A Covid-19 patient with breathing problems lays inside an ambulance while waiting to be admitted in a hospital in Allahabad

A Covid-19 affected person with respiration issues lays inside an ambulance whereas ready to be admitted in a hospital in Allahabad

Funeral pyres are lit at a crematorium in New Delhi, India, as the country's Covid crisis continues unabated - with another record-breaking day of cases and deaths reported

Funeral pyres are lit at a crematorium in New Delhi, India, because the nation’s Covid disaster continues unabated – with one other record-breaking day of circumstances and deaths reported

Gayesh Ansari watches as the body of his eight-months-pregnant wife Gulshan is lowered into a grave in Mumbai, India, after she died of Covid amid the country's brutal second wave

Gayesh Ansari watches because the physique of his eight-months-pregnant spouse Gulshan is lowered right into a grave in Mumbai, India, after she died of Covid amid the nation’s brutal second wave

A crematorium worker wearing protective gloves wipes tears from the eyes of a woman who arrived with the body of her mother who died of Covid in New Delhi, India

A crematorium employee carrying protecting gloves wipes tears from the eyes of a lady who arrived with the physique of her mom who died of Covid in New Delhi, India

India seven-day average Covid cases

India seven-day average Covid deaths

India reported 379,257 new Covid circumstances at present, pushing its seven-day common to 350,000 (left), whereas one other 3,645 deaths have been logged, pushing the seven-day common to simply wanting 3,000 (proper)

India’s Covid response: 1st wave vs 2nd wave 

India is struggling the world’s worst second wave of Covid, pushed by what the WHO says is a combination of extra infectious variants and authorities complacency.

Whereas India reacted to the primary wave with an entire nationwide shutdown and strict social distancing measures, mass gatherings and political rallies have been allowed to go forward even because the second wave of circumstances mounted.

Right here, MailOnline examines two very totally different responses that produced two very totally different outcomes:

1st wave

Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced the nation’s first ‘lockdown’ – a request for everybody to remain at dwelling for 14 hours – on March 22 as circumstances reached 100 with one dying, however adopted up with a compulsory nationwide shutdown simply three days later as circumstances hit 600.

All industrial exercise was closed down with solely important companies allowed to open and everybody instructed to remain of their properties, with measures initially because of final till April 14.

Mumbai train station during India's lockdown in March 2020

Mumbai practice station throughout India’s lockdown in March 2020

The transfer brought about chaos in a rustic that depends closely on migrant labour, as thousands and thousands of individuals fled cities for his or her villages within the countryside – some travelling for days on foot to get there.

Modi subsequently prolonged the lockdown till Might 3 with liquor shops allowed to reopen on Might 4 – however they have been closed simply hours later after drawing large crowds with police utilizing baton-charges to disperse individuals. The nationwide lockdown was then prolonged, first till Might 18 after which till June 4.

A gradual unlocking course of started June 5 and lasted via to the top of the yr, with states slowly reopening their economies whereas making an attempt to implement social distancing and masks guidelines – although in actuality many measures have been deserted earlier than scheduled.

2nd wave

As many western international locations skilled a second wave of Covid in the course of the winter, the Indian authorities congratulated itself as circumstances and deaths continued to say no even with most lockdown measures lifted.

Regular life was largely allowed to renew with mass political rallies going down for elections due in March and April – a few of which have been attended by Modi himself.

The Hindu pageant of Kumbh Mela was additionally given the go-ahead, with thousands and thousands of devotees gathering on the banks of the Ganges throughout 4 months of celebrations that started in January and lasted till this week.

Crowds have been additionally allowed again into sporting occasions, with England enjoying India in entrance of stands of maskless cricket followers in January. 

In February, with infections at their lowest level, the ruling BJP occasion handed a decision that declared ‘victory’ in opposition to Covid ‘beneath the visionary management of Prime Minister Modi’. 

A Hindu festival goes ahead despite rising cases in April 2021

A Hindu pageant goes forward regardless of rising circumstances in April 2021

However simply days later, circumstances started rising once more and have now hit file ranges, accounting for greater than 40 per cent of worldwide day by day totals. 

Regardless of the scenario deteriorating all through March after which quickly worsening in April, it was not till April 15 that Mumbai declared a city-wide lockdown to try to sluggish the unfold, with Delhi following swimsuit on April 19.

A number of states – together with Karnataka and Assam – have now utilized Covid curbs to try to comprise circumstances, election victory parades have been largely banned, and  Modi has handed emergency orders to try to get medical provides to overrun hospitals.

Nevertheless, there was no discuss of one other nationwide shutdown even because the nation’s healthcare system all-but collapses because of the weight of circumstances.

India seems as an alternative to be counting on vaccines to get itself out of bother, with appointments provided to anybody over the age of 18 beginning at present.

However it can take months no less than to inoculate sufficient individuals to succeed in herd immunity even when India – which produces a lot of the world’s vaccines – can manufacture sufficient jabs for its 1.4billion inhabitants.

Within the meantime, medical doctors warn that packing individuals into vaccination centres helps to unfold Covid and that extra measures are wanted to cease the virus spreading.

Whereas cities corresponding to Delhi and Mumbai have been early epicentres of an infection, the virus has now unfold to extra rural areas the place it’s inflicting havoc – as medics say persons are turning to witch medical doctors to assist them.

Dr Ashita Singh, head of drugs at Chinchpada Christian Hospital in a distant a part of Maharashtra state the place Mumbai is positioned, stated she is seeing growing numbers of sufferers arriving with branding marks given to them by witch medical doctors to drive out ‘spirits’ they imagine trigger the an infection.

Others depend on natural cures whereas some have fled their villages out of worry of demons which they imagine are spreading the illness, which helps the an infection to unfold additional and sooner.

Those that do search out assist at her hospital – which is simply geared up to take care of 80 sufferers – typically come solely as a final resort, she added, and are normally too sick to save lots of.  

The disaster is especially extreme in New Delhi, with individuals dying exterior packed hospitals the place three persons are typically pressured to share beds. 

Talking to Radio 4, she stated: ‘[There is] quite a lot of dependence on indigenous drugs, in historic beliefs.

‘We’ve got quite a lot of sufferers who’re on our wards proper now who’ve marks on their stomach as a result of they first went to the witch physician who gave them sizzling iron branding within the hope that the evil spirit that’s speculated to be inflicting this sickness can be exorcised. 

‘[The witch doctor] is their first port of name, solely a small proportion will come to the hospital, most will go to the witch physician or the indigenous practitioner, who will give them natural medicine for his or her diseases.

‘Plenty of time is wasted and folks are available in very late and really sick, and quite a lot of them by no means come to the hospital so what we see within the hospital is actually simply the tip of the iceberg.’ 

Cities and states have rushed to herald new lockdown measures because the disaster worsens, however there’s nonetheless no discuss of one other nationwide lockdown from Prime Minister Modi – who simply weeks in the past was declaring ‘victory’ over the virus.

As an alternative, it seems India’s technique is to try to vaccinate its method out of the disaster, with the federal government permitting everybody over the age of 18 to e book a vaccine by way of a web site from Wednesday.

However the website repeatedly crashed because it acquired 250,000 clicks per minute, whereas questions have been requested about how shortly India can produce sufficient photographs to cowl its 1.4billion inhabitants.

On Thursday, Satyendar Jain – the well being minister of Delhi which is without doubt one of the worst-affected cities – warned he has ‘no vaccines’ left and has not been given a schedule for when extra are more likely to be delivered.

‘We do not have vaccines as of now. We’ve got made requests to the corporate relating to vaccines, we’ll let you know when it comes,’ he stated.

Till lockdowns sluggish the an infection or sufficient persons are vaccinated to cease the virus spreading, its is unlikely that India’s disaster will ease.

The explosion in infections, blamed partially on a brand new virus variant in addition to mass political and spiritual occasions, has overwhelmed hospitals with dire shortages of beds, medication and oxygen. 

Regardless of rallies being blame as one of many causes of an infection, India has pushed forward with state elections – packing individuals into polling stations with little thought to social distancing.

Many in rural components of the state failed to watch social distancing guidelines, with some carrying masks however others hanging them loosely on their chins or from their ears.

Sporadic violence was reported from a number of constituencies, with crude bombs thrown and automobiles broken.

1000’s have been killed in political violence in West Bengal over the a long time, and this yr’s polls – held in eight phases over the course of a month – have additionally triggered lethal clashes between rival events.

Successful energy within the state of 90 million could be a serious victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Social gathering, which is in search of to finish a decade of rule by the state’s firebrand chief Mamata Banerjee.

Almost 8.5 million persons are eligible to vote within the eighth section of polling within the state. Outcomes can be launched on Might 2.

By mid-afternoon, turnout was being reported at 70 per cent – which means some 6million individuals had attended polling stations. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Social gathering have confronted criticism over the previous couple of weeks for holding large election rallies within the state, which well being specialists counsel might need pushed the surge there too. Different political events additionally participated in rallies. 

The state recorded greater than 17,000 circumstances within the final 24 hours – its highest spike because the pandemic started.

The federal government’s chief scientific advisor Okay Vijay Raghavan admitted extra may have performed to organize for the second wave, in an interview with the Indian Categorical newspaper.

‘There have been main efforts by central and state governments in ramping up hospital and healthcare infrastructure in the course of the first wave… However as that wave declined, so maybe did the sense of urgency to get this accomplished,’ he stated.

He added that checks which confirmed a excessive degree of pure antibodies within the inhabitants led scientists to foretell that the second wave, if it got here, could be smaller than the primary and transfer a lot slower – when actually the other has proved to be true.

Requested why scientists acquired it so flawed, Mr Raghavan admitted there isn’t a clear-cut reply – however a drop-off in pure immunity, poor information assortment which led scientists to make unhealthy assumptions, and immunity-busting variants are all more likely to blame.

However, in search of to defend the federal government’s response, he stated that even when preparation efforts had continued on the identical tempo they did in the course of the first wave, India’s healthcare system would nonetheless not have been ready for this.

‘If the necessities have been in the identical vary as within the first wave, it may have been dealt with,’ he stated. 

People wait to cast their votes outside a polling station as India pushes ahead with elections despite the Covid crisis

Individuals wait to forged their votes exterior a polling station as India pushes forward with elections regardless of the Covid disaster

Women wearing masks but failing to observe social distancing wait in line to vote in the final round of elections in West Bengal, which are being held today despite the Covid crisis

Girls carrying masks however failing to watch social distancing wait in line to vote within the remaining spherical of elections in West Bengal, that are being held at present regardless of the Covid disaster

Catholic nuns line up to vote in West Bengal, where 8.5million are eligible to cast their votes today with turnout over 50 per cent by midday, according to local media

Catholic nuns line as much as vote in West Bengal, the place 8.5million are eligible to forged their votes at present with turnout over 50 per cent by noon, in accordance with native media

A priest and a relative of a person who died from Covid pray next to the body before the burial, at a graveyard in New Delhi

A priest and a relative of an individual who died from Covid pray subsequent to the physique earlier than the burial, at a graveyard in New Delhi

A family member places flowers inside the coffin of a person who died from Covid in Delhi, as the virus runs rampant

A member of the family locations flowers contained in the coffin of an individual who died from Covid in Delhi, because the virus runs rampant

Relatives wearing PPE pray before the burial of persons who died from coronavirus at a graveyard in New Delhi

Family members carrying PPE pray earlier than the burial of individuals who died from coronavirus at a graveyard in New Delhi

Relatives lower the body of a person who died from coronavirus into a pit at a graveyard in Delhi

Family members decrease the physique of an individual who died from coronavirus right into a pit at a graveyard in Delhi

A cremation ground in New Delhi is prepared for the mass burning of the bodies of Covid victims

A cremation floor in New Delhi is ready for the mass burning of the our bodies of Covid victims

An exhausted cremation workers slumps to the ground in between shifts burning the bodies of Covid victims in Bengaluru

An exhausted cremation employees slumps to the bottom in between shifts burning the our bodies of Covid victims in Bengaluru

A female cremation worker helps to construct temporary platforms to burn the bodies of Covid victims in Bengaluru, India

A feminine cremation employee helps to assemble non permanent platforms to burn the our bodies of Covid victims in Bengaluru, Indi

India DOES have sufficient oxygen – the actual drawback is transporting it

India’s acute oxygen scarcity has turn out to be a defining function of its second wave of Covid, with individuals pressured to purchase it on the black marketplace for hundreds of {dollars} per tank as provides run brief. 

However evaluation say the nation does really produce sufficient to cowl its wants – round 7,000 tonnes a day – and the actual drawback isn’t the availability however distributing it to the areas the place it’s wanted.

Most of India’s oxygen producers are positioned within the east, the place it’s primarily utilized in trade, however an infection centres like Mumbai and Delhi are within the west and north which means it must be transported there.

However transporting oxygen is troublesome – it must be carried as a liquid in particular cryogenic tankers and India has a scarcity of them.

It additionally must be moved by highway or rail, which means the method of transporting it’s sluggish, as a result of it’s too harmful to fly with.  

‘The provision chain must be tweaked to maneuver medical oxygen from sure areas which have extra provide to areas which want extra provide,’ the top of considered one of India’s largest medical oxygen suppliers Inox Air Merchandise, Siddharth Jain, instructed AFP.

In the meantime, many hospitals do not need on-site oxygen crops, typically due to poor infrastructure, a lack of knowledge and excessive prices.

Late final yr, India issued tenders for on-site oxygen crops for hospitals. However the plans have been by no means actioned, native media report.


‘You’ll be able to construct about 20-50 per cent extra capability in a single yr in some places. Even there, lack of personnel will quickly debilitate the response. A five-fold enhance in capability can’t be in-built a yr.’ 

Dr Suvrankar Datta, basic secretary of the Federation of All India Medical Affiliation, instructed the BBC that it could take as much as two months for the disaster to peak – and even then it’s possible that infections will plateau relatively than fall, which means hospitals and clinics will proceed to be overrun. 

Within the meantime, funeral pyres must preserve burning day and night time to get rid of the massive variety of our bodies, with cremation employees and grave diggers pressured to work all hours to maintain up. 

Two or three months into the COVID-19 disaster, Mumbai gravedigger Sayyed Munir Kamruddin stopped carrying private protecting gear and gloves.

‘I am not frightened of COVID, I’ve labored with braveness. It is all about braveness, not about worry,’ stated the 52-year-old, who has been digging graves within the metropolis for 25 years.

India is within the midst of a second wave of coronavirus infections that has seen no less than 300,000 individuals take a look at optimistic every day for the previous week, and its COVID-19 dying toll rise previous 18 million.

Well being programs and crematoriums have been overwhelmed. In Delhi, ambulances have been taking the our bodies of COVID-19 victims to makeshift crematoriums in parks and parking tons, the place our bodies are burned on rows and rows of funeral pyres.

Kamruddin says he and his colleagues are working across the clock to bury COVID-19 victims.

‘That is our solely job. Getting the physique, eradicating it from the ambulance, after which burying it,’ he stated, including that he hasn’t had a vacation in a yr.

Although it’s the center of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, Kamruddin instructed Reuters his making an attempt job and the new climate has saved him from fasting.

‘My work is actually laborious,’ he stated. ‘I really feel thirsty for water. I have to dig graves, cowl them with mud, want to hold lifeless our bodies. With all this work, how can I quick?’

But Kamruddin’s religion retains him going, and he does not count on assist from the federal government anytime quickly.

‘Our belief in our mosque may be very sturdy,’ he stated. ‘The federal government isn’t going to offer us something. We do not even need something from the federal government.’ 

Elsewhere, Oxfam India CEO Amitabh Behar instructed ITV that complacency after the primary wave of infections led to the devastating second wave.

‘I believe this has occurred due to conceitedness,’ he stated. 

A COVID-19 patient waits in an ambulance outside a hospital in Jaipur as India's healthcare system buckles due to Covid

A COVID-19 affected person waits in an ambulance exterior a hospital in Jaipur as India’s healthcare system buckles because of Covid

A patient breathes with the help of oxygen provided by a Gurdwara, a place of worship for Sikhs, under a tent installed along the roadside in Ghaziabad, India

A affected person breathes with the assistance of oxygen supplied by a Gurdwara, a spot of worship for Sikhs, beneath a tent put in alongside the roadside in Ghaziabad, India

Patients breathe with the help of oxygen provided by a Gurdwara, a place of worship for Sikhs, in Ghaziabad

Sufferers breathe with the assistance of oxygen supplied by a Gurdwara, a spot of worship for Sikhs, in Ghaziabad

Beds are seen in an indoor stadium converted into a COVID-19 care facility in Srinagar, India

Beds are seen in an indoor stadium transformed right into a COVID-19 care facility in Srinagar, India

An employee fills oxygen cylinders inside an oxygen filling centre in Bengaluru, India

An worker fills oxygen cylinders inside an oxygen filling centre in Bengaluru, India

Fb blocks ‘Modi Resign’ hashtag

Fb briefly blocked a hashtag calling on the Indian Prime Minister to resign amid criticism over the nation’s Covid response.

Posts containing #ModiResign was blocked for a number of hours on Wednesday, earlier than being restored.

A Fb spokesman stated the transfer was made ‘in error’, however didn’t say whether or not that was by a human moderator or machine algorithm.

‘We briefly blocked this hashtag by mistake, not as a result of the Indian authorities requested us to, and have since restored it,’ the spokesman stated. 

It comes days after Twitter revealed it had complied with a request from the Indian authorities to dam posts that have been crucial of its Covid response.

Ministers stated the posts have been factually inaccurate, and have been taken right down to cease panic being unfold. 

‘In February we introduced to the world that we had defeated Corona, we’ve got not been doing Covid applicable behaviour – individuals have been coming to elections of their lots of and hundreds, we have had non secular gatherings with lots of of individuals coming collectively and we didn’t put together… we didn’t try this, and that is the place we’re.’

In the meantime the US has confirmed it can ship greater than $100 million in provides to Covid-ravaged India, together with almost a million on the spot checks on a primary flight.

The White Home stated the primary flight would arrive Thursday in New Delhi on a army airplane, days after President Joe Biden promised to step up help to the rising US ally.

The primary cargo consists of 960,000 fast checks, which may detect Covid in quarter-hour, and 100,000 N95 masks for frontline well being employees, the US Company for Worldwide Improvement stated.

The White Home stated complete assist on flights within the coming days could be value greater than $100 million and embrace 1,000 refillable oxygen cylinders and 1,700 concentrators that produce oxygen for sufferers from the air.

‘Simply as India despatched help to the US when our hospitals have been strained early within the pandemic, the US is set to assist India in its time of want,’ a White Home assertion stated.

The White Home stated it was additionally sending provides to India to provide greater than 20 million vaccine doses.

The provides are being diverted from US orders to provide the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has not been permitted to be used in the US.

The White Home had promised Sunday to unencumber materials to let India produce Covishield, its low-cost model of AstraZeneca, after criticism that the US was hogging provide even because it succeeds with mass vaccination.

Biden stated Monday that the US would additionally ship abroad as much as 60 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses which have already been manufactured, but it surely remained unclear what number of would go to India.

In the meantime, the US suggested its residents to depart India as quickly as doable to keep away from getting caught up within the chaos, advising them that its skill to offer help has been severely restricted by the disaster. 

Nations have rushed provides to India because it contends with one of many world’s most catastrophic surges of Covid-19 because the pandemic started, overwhelming hospitals and pushing crematoriums previous capability.

The devastation comes although India is a number one producer of vaccines.

A couple wearing full PPE take part in a traditional marriage ceremony in Madhya Pradesh state

A pair carrying full PPE participate in a standard wedding ceremony in Madhya Pradesh state

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