Human toll of the second wave of coronavirus in India
Another ambulance arrived at an overburdened crematorium in India's Mumbai with the body of a loved one. This time it was the mother of Akshay Lad.
"I never realized this moment will come in my life," Lad told CGTN, showing a picture of his mother on his cellphone. "This time of COVID ... is deadlier than the past year, so kindly take care of all your belongings, all your people, members of your family."
A second wave of COVID-19 is sweeping through India, infecting entire families, as was the case with Lad and his relatives.
"If one gets infected with this virus, all the family members are bound to get infected. This is what happened with my family. All my family members were shifted to different hospitals."
Lad said he wishes he could take this moment away and give his mother all the happiness she ever wanted, "but unfortunately, I can't do anything."
As more ambulances line up at crematoriums across India, medical experts fear the worst is not over yet, with the second wave yet to peak. And this means there's more emotional pain to come for families in India like Lad's.
Apart from the disease itself, the emotional burden is also taking a toll in the country.
A resident doctor at a private hospital in Delhi died by suicide due to severe stress, the former chief of a top medical body tweeted on Saturday.
Police in south Delhi's Malviya Nagar said the doctor left a suicide note.
NDTV reported that the deceased doctor, Vivek Rai, had been looking after coronavirus patients at the private hospital over the past month, with a daily workload of seven to eight critical patients. He developed depression after more patients passed away on his watch. He is survived by his wife, who is two months pregnant.
"He was a very brilliant doctor from Gorakhpur (in Uttar Pradesh) and helped to save hundreds of lives during the pandemic," former Indian Medical Association (IMA) chief Ravi Wankhedkar tweeted.
"This brings into focus the tremendous emotional strain while managing the COVID crisis. This death of a young doctor is nothing short of murder by the 'system,' which has created frustrations with the shortage of basic healthcare facilities. Bad science, bad politics and bad governance," the former IMA president added.
India reported 3,417 deaths from COVID-19 on Monday, taking the total number to 218,959, according to the country's Health Ministry. India has reported more than 300,000 daily cases for more than 10 consecutive days.