India coronavirus caseload crosses 4M, stretching resources

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Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) (Photo: CDC)

NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s coronavirus caseload has surpassed 4 million, deepening misery in the country’s vast hinterlands, where surges have crippled the underfunded health care system.

Initially, the virus ravaged India’s sprawling and densely populated cities. It has since stretched to almost every state, spreading through villages.

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With a population of nearly 1.4 billion, India’s massive caseload isn’t surprising experts.

The country’s delayed response to the virus forced the government to implement a harsh lockdown in late March. For over two months, the economy remained shuttered, buying time for health workers to prepare for the worst.

With the cost of the restrictions also rising, authorities saw no choice but to reopen activities.