LONDON: India finds itself in the throes of a humanitarian disaster.

Until March, case numbers were low in most parts of the country, leading many to think that the worst was over. Much like in Brazil though, jingoism, overconfidence and false reassurance from the political elite negated hard-won progress.

Mass gatherings have acted as state-sanctioned super-spreader events. More infectious variants and a sluggish uptake of vaccines are also fuelling the current surge. These are the triggers, but there are more deep-rooted issues at the heart of the current crisis.

India is an inherently high-risk country for an epidemic. The country holds 1.4 billion people, living in crowded areas with extensive community networks and limited facilities for sanitation, isolation and healthcare.

More in category

Coronavirus: WHO says India a ‘huge concern’ as deaths continue upswing
May 15, 2021SCMP
Coronavirus: WHO says India a ‘huge concern’ as deaths continue upswing
Malaysia, Indonesia urge UN Security Council to stop Israeli 'violence'
May 15, 2021Channel News Asia
Malaysia, Indonesia urge UN Security Council to stop Israeli 'violence'
Coronavirus: first Australian repatriation flight from India lands; Singapore tourism sector races to adapt to new rules
May 15, 2021SCMP
Coronavirus: first Australian repatriation flight from India lands; Singapore tourism sector races to adapt to new rules
India's daily COVID-19 deaths remain near 4,000 as police sent to halt dumping of bodies
May 15, 2021Channel News Asia
India's daily COVID-19 deaths remain near 4,000 as police sent to halt dumping of bodies
China cancels Everest climbs over fears of COVID-19 from Nepal
May 15, 2021Channel News Asia
China cancels Everest climbs over fears of COVID-19 from Nepal
Tornadoes hit two provinces in China, killing 12 and injuring hundreds
May 15, 2021Channel News Asia
Tornadoes hit two provinces in China, killing 12 and injuring hundreds
Can Air Fryers Cause Cancer? 3 Ways To Reduce This Risk
May 15, 2021CNA Insider
Can Air Fryers Cause Cancer? 3 Ways To Reduce This Risk
Taiwan tightens curbs after reporting 180 new domestic COVID-19 cases
May 14, 2021Channel News Asia
Taiwan tightens curbs after reporting 180 new domestic COVID-19 cases
China reports 14 new COVID-19 cases
May 14, 2021Channel News Asia
China reports 14 new COVID-19 cases
Coronavirus: Taiwan economy faces ‘double whammy’ as island tightens containment measures
May 14, 2021SCMP
Coronavirus: Taiwan economy faces ‘double whammy’ as island tightens containment measures
Tokyo Olympics: Why doesn't Japan cancel the Games?
May 14, 2021BBC
Tokyo Olympics: Why doesn't Japan cancel the Games?
Macron, Ardern hold talks in new push against online extremism
May 14, 2021Channel News Asia
Macron, Ardern hold talks in new push against online extremism
Thailand’s Prayuth Chan-ocha tells UN envoy he will not force back Myanmar refugees
May 14, 2021SCMP
Thailand’s Prayuth Chan-ocha tells UN envoy he will not force back Myanmar refugees
Afghanistan war: Kabul mosque blast shatters calm for Eid
May 14, 2021BBC
Afghanistan war: Kabul mosque blast shatters calm for Eid
Mammals can breathe through anus in emergencies: Study
May 14, 2021Channel News Asia
Mammals can breathe through anus in emergencies: Study
Taipei closes entertainment venues as COVID-19 outbreak spreads
May 14, 2021Channel News Asia
Taipei closes entertainment venues as COVID-19 outbreak spreads
China rover to attempt Mars landing over coming days
May 14, 2021Channel News Asia
China rover to attempt Mars landing over coming days
India’s coronavirus infections top 24 million as mutant spreads across globe
May 14, 2021SCMP
India’s coronavirus infections top 24 million as mutant spreads across globe
Deep Dive: Grab’s investor presentation
May 14, 2021Tech in Asia
Deep Dive: Grab’s investor presentation
Covid cases mean Australia repatriation flight from India not full
May 14, 2021BBC
Covid cases mean Australia repatriation flight from India not full
Biopharma Industry Day: Nearly 1,800 locals join event aimed at drawing talent to sector
May 14, 2021Channel News Asia
Biopharma Industry Day: Nearly 1,800 locals join event aimed at drawing talent to sector