India Covid crisis: government ignored warnings on variant, scientists say

2nd May, 2021

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A relative of a person who died of Covid-19 breaks down during cremation in Jammu, India, Photograph: Channi Anand/AP

A panel of Indian scientists warned officials in early March of a new and more contagious variant of the coronavirus taking hold in the country, it has emerged. Despite the warning, four of the scientists said the federal government did not seek to impose major restrictions to stop the spread of the virus, Reuters reported on Saturday. Millions of largely unmasked people attended religious festivals and political rallies that were held by prime minister Narendra Modi, leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata party and opposition politicians.

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