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The remains of a funeral pyre in a sugarcane field in the village of Basi, Uttar Pradesh, India, on May 10.

The remains of a funeral pyre in a sugarcane field in the village of Basi, Uttar Pradesh, India, on May 10.

Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg

‘Entire Families’ Wiped Out by Covid’s Carnage in Rural India

Citizens say they’ve been left by the government to fight the pandemic alone.

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After devastating India’s biggest cities, the latest Covid-19 wave is now ravaging rural areas across the world’s second-most populous country. And most villages have no way to fight the virus.

In Basi, about 1.5 hours from the capital New Delhi, about three-quarters of the village’s 5,400 people are sick and more than 30 have died in the past three weeks. It has no health-care facilities, no doctors and no oxygen canisters. And unlike India’s social-media literate urban population, residents can’t appeal on Twitter to an army of strangers willing to help.