There were no funeral pyres on June 10 at the Tavarekere mass crematorium, roughly 19 miles outside the South Indian city of Bengaluru; for the first time since April, the site had received no bodies. In large cities throughout India, daily COVID-19 cases are decreasing, the supply of medical oxygen is becoming consistent, and a system of triage at hospitals has been established. There is a sense that the COVID-19 pandemic’s deadly second wave has passed.
But outside India’s dense urban centers, COVID-19 is still battering the rural regions where two-thirds of the country’s population lives. Despite sparse or nonexistent COVID-19 testing outside cities, the data team at The Hindu newspaper has estimated that 65 percent of