India on Saturday reported a daily record of 145,384 new infections as Covid-19 raced out of control. Deaths, while still relatively low, are rising. Vaccinations, a mammoth task in such a large nation, are dangerously behind schedule. Hospital beds are running short.
Parts of the country are reinforcing lockdowns. Scientists are rushing to track new versions, including the more hazardous variants found in Britain and South Africa, that may be hastening the spread. But the authorities have declared contact tracing in some places to be simply impossible.
Complacency and government missteps have helped turned India from a seeming success story into one of the world’s worst-hit places, experts say. And epidemiologists warn that continuing failure in India would have global implications.