CHAMARAJANAGAR – In the Covid-19 ward in the Chamarajanagar government district hospital about 175km from Karnataka’s capital city of Bangalore, every bed is occupied. Relatives fervently fan patients, change their soiled sheets or help them lay prone.

Rural south India has now emerged as the new Covid-19 epicentre, home to 22 of India’s 30 worst-hit districts. The understaffed and poorly funded village healthcare system is dangerously bending under the rising caseloads.

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