India has reported more than 300,000 coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, the highest daily global total, while COVID-19-related deaths also jumped by a record.
India’s daily jump in cases of 314,835 surpasses the previous highest one-day rise in the world of 297,430 cases posted by the United States in January.
India’s total cases are now at 15.93 million, while deaths rose by 2,104 to reach a total of 184,657, according to health ministry data on Thursday.
The news comes after 22 COVID-19 patients on ventilators died in an Indian hospital after their oxygen supply was disrupted by a leak in a supply line.
Multiple funeral pyres are seen in New Delhi for people who died of COVID-19 (Photo: AP)
Hospitals across northern and western India including the capital, New Delhi, have issued notices to say they have only a few hours of medical oxygen required to keep COVID-19 patients alive.
More than two-thirds of hospitals had no vacant beds, according to the Delhi government’s online database, and doctors advised patients to stay home.
At least 24 COVID-19 patients died in western India’s Maharashtra state on Wednesday when the oxygen supply to their ventilators ran out, amid a nationwide shortage of medical oxygen, hospital beds and medicines such as the anti-viral drug, Remdesivir.
Health experts say India let its guard down when the virus seemed to be under control during the winter, allowing big gatherings such as weddings and festivals.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is himself facing criticism for addressing packed political rallies for local elections and allowing a Hindu festival to go ahead where millions gathered.
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