When India emerged relatively unscathed from its first wave of Covid-19, there was a sense in the country that somehow it was an exception. The prime minister, Narendra Modi, had brought in a strict lockdown and it seemed to have worked: victory against the coronavirus was proclaimed.

The Guardian’s south Asia correspondent, Hannah Ellis-Petersen, tells Anushka Asthana that the situation now couldn’t be further from a victory against the virus. With a second wave spreading out of control across India, the healthcare system is unable to cope. Shortages of staff, beds and oxygen are compounding the catastrophe.

India’s crisis is also a crisis for us all. As the world’s foremost vaccine producer, it is now constrained in how much it can export due to dealing with this unprecedented domestic disaster.

Cremation pyres of 13 Covid patients who died in a fire in Vijay Vallabh hospital, Virar, India

Photograph: Rajanish Kakade/AP

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