India tops 200,000 dead as virus surge breaks health system

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NEW DELHI (AP) — The COVID-19 death toll in India has topped 200,000 as the country endures its darkest chapter of the pandemic yet.

The health ministry on Wednesday reported 3,293 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing India’s total fatalities to 201,187.

India has the fourth most deaths, behind the United States, Brazil and Mexico. Experts, however, believe the numbers are an undercount.

India thought it had weathered the worst of the pandemic last year, but the current surge is sending its health systems toward collapse.

Hospitalizations and deaths have reached record highs. Patients are suffocating because hospitals’ oxygen supplies have run out. Fires at overwhelmed crematoriums are lighting up night skies.

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