Let's start with the second half of the header, because it puts everything else into perspective. The government of India officially claims a little over 400,000 COVID deaths. Some Western think tanks are saying the real number might be FOUR MILLION. Not all of that is due to the virulence of the Delta virus variant. Some of it is on the incompetence of the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. And, some of it's on Indian poverty.
That said, I question an item or two in the story. It may not be "officially official," but, going by state health departments and such, Worldometers has a US death toll of 625K, not the 500K mentioned in the piece as "official." THAT then said, many researchers estimate that a few hundred thousand early deaths may have been missed. So, the real number may be 900K, not 700. In any case, even allowing for population difference, that's still below India's 4 million, if true.
As for the why? Per NPR, some of it may be chaos. But, I don't think it stresses enough the efforts of state governors from Modi's BJP to directly undercount deaths. (Remember, this has been alleged about the early days of COVID in China.)
Remember all of this when you hear BRIC or BRICS nations being touted. That's especially when said touting is by left-socialists, or Marxists like Richard D. Wolff who "can't be bothered" to mention The Cultural Revolution or Great Leap Forward when discussing China's putative-to-him inexorable rise to economic power. (Since he's a Marxist, such things are of course "inexorable" per the pseudoscience of the prescriptive side of Marxism.)
Finally? WHO's director general is pushing China hard to be more lab-transparent.
OK, with that, next, the second third of the header.
Yep, there's ANOTHER variant, called lambda. Only about 700 documented cases, but at least one of them is here in Texas. It's a "variant of concern," but believed to be less transmissible than delta.
Also here in Texas, it's bad enough that Austin has put out new social distancing recommendations. Recommendations, not regulations, because per Strangeabbott, they're not enforceable.