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The stark global divide in the Covid-19 pandemic

Bodies arrive at a mass cremation site in New Delhi on April 23. A second wave of Covid-19 has been devastating India. (Atul Loke/The New York Times/Redux)

In the fight against the coronavirus, some countries are faring better than others.

In the United States, for example, cases have been dropping as more and more people get vaccinated. President Joe Biden has set a goal to have at least 160 million Americans fully vaccinated by the July Fourth holiday.

But in India, a second wave of Covid-19 has been devastating, killing thousands of people a day and setting world records for daily infections. Medical facilities have started to run out of oxygen, ventilators and beds, and workers have been stretched thin.

“After successfully tackling the first wave, the nation’s morale was high, it was confident,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his monthly radio program. “But this storm has shaken the nation.”

Here’s how various countries around the world are holding up in their fight against Covid-19:


India is in the middle of a coronavirus catastrophe while facing a second wave of cases. The South Asian country is experiencing the world’s worst outbreak, with new cases surging past 400,000 per day.

Experts and patients say India’s worst-hit cities feel like war zones. Hospitals have run out of basic medical supplies, with many patients dying due to oxygen shortages. Family members are driving from clinic to clinic, frantically searching for open intensive-care beds. Patients share beds or lie on the hospital floor.

Communities and volunteers have set up makeshift clinics, and makeshift crematoriums have been needed to handle the amount of bodies.

The government has been scrambling to respond to the crisis, with countries around the world offering aid.

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