- The aunt of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has died of COVID-19, her family told PTI.
- India is being overwhelmed by the virus, with mass cremations and people dying waiting for treatment.
- Modi has been widely criticized for his response to the virus, and he held large rallies this month.
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The aunt of India’s prime minister has reportedly died of COVID-19 as India still fights its devastating surge.
The Press Trust of India reported that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aunt Narmadaben Modi died while she was “undergoing treatment for coronavirus infection” on Tuesday, citing family members.
The prime minister’s youngest brother said: “Our aunt Narmadaben was admitted to the civil hospital some ten days ago after her condition deteriorated following coronavirus infection.”
India is dealing with an overwhelming surge of the virus, with deaths crossing 200,000 on Wednesday. Government figures show that almost 18 million people have been recorded as infected.
Experts also warn that the true numbers of cases and deaths are likely much higher.
Modi has been criticized for his response to the virus: He held large political rallies this month, and restrictions were eased across the country before the surge.
The country is struggling with a severe oxygen shortage and an overwhelmed health system, leading to people dying while waiting for treatment.
Hospitals warn that they are worried about their oxygen supplies hour-to-hour, and mass cremations are taking place.
Other countries are now sending medical supplies in a bid to help the country’s crisis.