The horrific news from India about the strain of COVID-19 that's ravaging the country, with infections, hospitalizations and deaths rising particularly in rural areas, is hard to wrap your head around. The World Health Organization describes the growing infections as "very worrying", and says a new variant sweeping the country is more deadly and easily transmitted. The BKC jumbo field hospital in Mumbai (pictured above) is capable of handling thousands of patients, but the shortage of oxygen, therapeutic medication and PPE for the medical staff is straining the already strained health care system.
As a symbol of the horrors the people are seeing there every day, add another: many scores of bodies floating in the lower Ganges River:
"Health officials working through the night Monday retrieved 71 bodies, officials in Bihar state said.
Images on social media of the bodies floating in the river prompted outrage and speculation that they died from COVID-19. Authorities performed post mortems on Tuesday but said they could not confirm the cause of death due to the decomposition of the bodies."
Rushing vaccines and therapeutic medications, along with oxygen generators and other equipment, must be a top priority of the international community, now and going forward until the virus is fully suppressed.
(photo: Rafiq Maqbool / AP))