In India's northeast there's fear of a virus surge to come

Indian youth above eighteen years age queue up to get vaccinated against the coronavirus in Gauhati, Assam, India, Monday, May 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath) © Provided by Associated Press Indian youth above eighteen years age queue up to get vaccinated against the coronavirus in Gauhati, Assam, India, Monday, May 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

GAUHATI, India (AP) — With experts saying the coronavirus is likely spreading in India’s northeastern state of Assam faster than anywhere else in the country, authorities were preparing Monday for a surge in infections by converting a massive stadium and a university into hospitals.

Cases in Assam started ticking upward a month ago and the official seven-day weekly average in the state on May 9 stood at more than 4,700 cases. But a model run the University of Michigan — which predicts the current spread of cases before they are actually detected — says infections in Assam are likely occurring as fast as any other place in the country.

____________________________________________________

More on coronavirus:

Latest news and updates on India's Covid emergency

How India has become the global epicentre (The Telegraph)

Opinion: Triumphalism led India to Covid-19 disaster (The Guardian)

____________________________________________________

Add to that recent elections in the state — and the huge political rallies that accompanied them — and experts fear a uncontrolled surge is on the horizon.

Worryingly, along with cities in India's northeastern frontier — which is closer to Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan than it is New Delhi — cases have also started to spike in some remote Himalayan villages in the region.

A special message from Microsoft News: India is currently being devastated by a deadly second wave of Covid. You can support Oxfam's Covid relief efforts in India, including reaching out to the most affected and vulnerable communities, distributing and installing medical equipment and accessories, and supporting the most marginalised households. You can donate here.

Nationwide, India's Health Ministry reported 360,000 new cases in the past 24 hours Monday, with more than 3,700 deaths. Since the pandemic began, India has seen more than 22.6 million infections and more than 246,000 deaths —- both, experts say, almost certainly undercounts.

Video: India turns to ex-army medics as Covid surge sparks calls for lockdown (France 24)

In India's northeast there's fear of a virus surge to come