India: ‘The worst humanitarian crisis I’ve witnessed'

A narrative of Indian exceptionalism led people to believe they were more immune to Covid-19, resulting in them taking fewer precautions and allowing the virus to spread rapidly in the country, the director of the Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy has said.

The country avoided a crisis last year due to a lockdown but when it was lifted the virus returned, Dr Ramanan Laxminarayan told BBC World News.

“People forgot that when you go back to normal life, so to speak, that the virus just comes back. This is the lesson from every other country, this is not specifically India,” he said.

On Friday India recorded 332,730 new coronavirus cases, the highest one-day tally anywhere in the world for the second day in a row. Deaths were numbered at 2,263 in 24 hours.

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India