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THE covid-19 situation in India is terrible and is likely to get worse. The country has set one new record after another for the most daily coronavirus cases reported in any country. Just as the world was hoping the worst of the pandemic was over, we are seeing its biggest outbreak.

Why is this happening now? The short answer, as with so many key questions about the pandemic, is that no one knows for sure.

On paper, India’s outbreak isn’t that exceptional. It is reporting around 200 daily cases and two deaths per million people, which is similar to the current situations in the …