India, May 12 -- Top public health officials of the Biden administration told US lawmakers on Tuesday that the ongoing devastating surge in Covid-19 cases in India is the result of an "incorrect assumption" that led to reopening "prematurely" and it has become a cautionary tale of the dangers of not being careful.

"The reason that India is in such dire straits now is that they had an original surge and made the incorrect assumption that they were finished with it," Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infection Diseases and chief medical adviser to the US president, said at a Senate hearing when asked what lessons could be learnt from the situation in India.

He added that "they opened up prematurely and wound up ...