WHO: More COVID-19 circumstances reported in final 2 weeks than in first 6 months of pandemic

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The New York Times

India Outbreak Worsens Further, Prompting Fury at an Outpost of Normalcy

As plumes of smoke rose from cremation grounds, the place our bodies had been arriving sooner than they might be burned, groups {of professional} cricket gamers squared off underneath the lights of a cavernous stadium named for India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi. The jarring scenes unfolded on Thursday in Ahmadabad, a metropolis situated in Modi’s home state of Gujarat and a scorching spot in India’s spiraling coronavirus outbreak, which is claiming a median of nearly 3,000 lives a day nationwide. For many years, cricket and its charismatic stars have commanded exalted standing in India, the place the once-genteel colonial recreation attracts its greatest and most passionate fan base. Now, public anger is rising on the sport’s marquee worldwide product, the Indian Premier League, which is taking part in matches in a “bio-bubble” with out spectators that has drawn criticism for diverting assets from the nation’s wider coronavirus battle. Sign up for The Morning e-newsletter from the New York Times “There is a lack of empathy for dead bodies lying in crematoriums surrounding your stadium,” mentioned Rahul Verma, a lawyer and die-hard cricket fan who mentioned he had been a loyal follower of the cricket league because it began in 2008. “This game, a gentleman’s game, never was so grotesque.” India set one other world document on Friday with nearly 383,000 new infections, the well being ministry reported, pushing the worldwide coronavirus case depend to greater than 150 million. In India, with one in 5 checks coming again optimistic, consultants fear the true toll is far larger. As the U.S. Air Force delivered the primary shipments of oxygen cylinders, take a look at kits, masks and different emergency provides promised to India by the Biden administration, a number of Indian states mentioned they may not fulfill the federal government’s directive to broaden vaccinations to all adults starting Saturday as a result of they lacked vaccine doses. As hospitals face shortages of intensive-care beds, relations of the sick broadcast determined pleas on social media for oxygen, drugs and different scarce provides. Many Indians say they have no idea if they’re contaminated with the coronavirus as a result of overwhelmed labs have stopped processing checks. But one group that appears unaffected is the rich and highly effective Board of Control for Cricket in India, the regulatory physique that oversees the Indian Premier League, which was modeled on soccer’s Premier League in England and options gamers from all over the world. The board has stored ambulances fitted with cellular intensive-care beds on standby exterior stadiums the place matches are being performed in case a participant falls sick. It is testing gamers each two days and has created a travel bubble between stadiums within the six states internet hosting matches, together with devoted airport check-in counters for cricketers. Meanwhile, some Indians say they can’t cross state strains to search out hospital beds for COVID-19 sufferers. Hemang Amin, the board’s chief working officer, mentioned in a letter launched this week that the well being and security of gamers and employees members had been “of paramount importance,” and added that the matches, which conclude on May 30, had been a wanted distraction in a tough time. “When you all walk out onto the field, you are bringing hope to millions of people who have tuned in,” he wrote. But the league’s security protocols have solely highlighted the hole between its star gamers — who’ve mentioned little publicly within the face of criticism — and the remainder of the nation. “That ambulance outside that stadium could have saved at least ten lives a day,” mentioned Ishan Singh, a cricket fan in Delhi. “These players are thieves. Given a chance, they will rob wood from the cremations and sell it in the market.” The New Indian Express, a day by day newspaper, mentioned in an editorial this week that it might droop protection of the cricket league till “a semblance of normalcy is restored” within the nation. “This is commercialism gone crass,” the newspaper wrote. “The problem is not with the game but its timing.” This article initially appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company

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