India COVID cases surpass 18 million

The second wave of the pandemic has hit India extremely hard, surprising the government's science advisor.

Dan Verbin ,

Coronavirus strain
Coronavirus strain

With India’s COVID-19 cases surpassing 18 million on Thursday, gravediggers are reportedly working around the clock, with another daily record high of infections taking place.

There have been so many deaths that bodies are being cremated in makeshift centers in parking lots and parks, reported Reuters. Hospitals and morgues are no longer able to keep up.

At least 379,257 new infections and 3,645 new deaths were reported on Thursday, with health ministry numbers describing a situation with the highest number of deaths in a single day since the start of the pandemic last year.

Mumbai gravedigger Sayyed Munir Kamruddin, 52, told Reuters that he and his co-workers are working 24 hours a day to bury the dead.

"I'm not scared of COVID, I've worked with courage. It's all about courage, not about fear. This is our only job. Getting the body, removing it from the ambulance, and then burying it.”

K. VijayRaghavan, ascientific advisor to the Indian government, said in the Indian Express that the strength of the current outbreak surprised everyone.

"While we were all aware of second waves in other countries, we had vaccines at hand, and no indications from modelling exercises suggested the scale of the surge,” he said.