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Why Covid didn’t hit India as hard as America and Europe

On February 22, Covid deaths in the US crossed the half-million mark. India had less than a third as many deaths despite a rickety health infrastructure and four times the population. Where Covid has felled elderly Americans in droves, here everybody knows neighbourhood uncles and aunties who recovered at home with only mild symptoms. It’s the same story across the developing world.

Why has Covid been kinder to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and almost the entire Africa? It’s an “epidemiological mystery,” Siddhartha Mukherjee, cancer specialist and author of the bestselling ‘The Emperor of All Maladies’ writes in a recent New Yorker article (
Why does the pandemic seem to be hitting some countries harder than others?).

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