Covid rips through rural India’s threadbare healthcare system

The pandemic overwhelming the big cities is reaching areas of Bihar where there is one doctor for 40,000 people

In the small rural village of Kathail, in the east of India’s poorest state, Bihar, access to healthcare has always been scarce. But when 34-year-old Umakant Singh fell sick with a cough and fever last week, his brother Mantu Singh did all he could to find help.

For four days Mantu rushed around, collecting the limited medicines he could find for his younger brother and nursing him at home. But he knew what these symptoms meant: Covid-19 had reached their village.

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