‘Cooped up’ Indians throng malls and markets weeks after COVID surge

A month ago, New Delhi’s crematoriums were operating around the clock dealing with COVID-19 victims. India’s death toll doubled to more than 330,000. Many experts suspect the true toll is over a million.

Now the Indian capital’s shopping malls and markets are buzzing again. But doctors are worried that India is letting its guard down again, just like in January and February before a devastating coronavirus surge that led to a near-collapse of the healthcare system.

At a mall, a big weekend crowd chatted and laughed over Indian dosas and Chinese noodles, paying scant regard to public announcements reminding them about social distancing and wearing masks.

Clutching a bag of clothes as she shopped with her husband, a local said she was “fed up being cooped up inside.”

She added, “I needed this break. “The coronavirus is not going any time soon, so one has to learn to live with it. I am sure with the vaccinations and all, we will be fine.”

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