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A makeshift mass crematorium in New Delhi. Photo: Imtiyaz Khan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

India's runaway coronavirus surge is only getting worse, and doctors are growing increasingly concerned about the risks of a new variant.

The state of play: "The current wave of COVID has a different clinical behavior," Sujay Shad, a surgeon at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, told The New York Times. "It's affecting young adults. It's affecting families. It's a new thing altogether. Two-month-old babies are getting infected."

Reports are still anecdotal, and researchers say data is too thin, but reports of dozens of fully vaccinated doctors falling ill have fueled concerns that the virus is finding a way to evade the world's defenses.

  • Experts also worry that variants may be leading to reinfections, Ravindra Gupta, professor of clinical microbiology at the University of Cambridge, told Time.

Where it stands: Hospitals are running out of critical supplies, including oxygen.

  • The country is averaging 300,000 cases a day and the official death toll is at 200,000, but experts believe that's a severe undercount.
  • Crematoriums are operating around the clock and expanding into parking lots to add more capacity, per the BBC.

What they're saying: Writing from his home, the New York Times New Delhi bureau chief, Jeffrey Gettleman, described the unsettling nature of the latest surge — and the lack of available help for people living there.

  • "If we do get really sick, where will we go? ICUs are full. Gates to many hospitals have been closed," he wrote.

Go deeper

Apr 28, 2021 - Health

mRNA vaccines 94% effective in preventing hospitalization in adults 65 and older

A COVID-positive patient who suffered a stroke in December and was flown from Providence St. Mary Medical Center to another hospital. Photo: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were 94% effective in preventing hospitalization for COVID-19 among adults 65 years and older, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: The research, which studied 417 hospitalized adults in 14 states between January and March, adds real-world evidence from the clinical trials that vaccination protects against severe illness and hospitalization.

Apr 28, 2021 - Health

NYT: Cuomo aides blocked officials from releasing COVID nursing home death toll

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Mike Segar/pool/AFP via Getty Images

Senior aides to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) engaged in a sustained campaign over several months to keep state health officials from releasing the full nursing home death toll caused by the coronavirus, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The FBI is investigating Cuomo's office following a probe by New York Attorney General Letitia James, also a Democrat, that found his administration undercounted deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50%.