The country’s health infrastructure is caving in to the wave of infections, including the more than 332,000 new cases reported on Friday. The figure indicates that India broke the global record it had set for new cases just a day earlier.
Health authorities have also recorded more than 2,200 coronavirus deaths. Some experts warned that this was likely a vast underestimate, as mass fire sites were erected to cremate the dead.
On the outskirts of Mumbai, India’s financial capital, Friday’s fire in the intensive care unit of Vijay Vallabh Hospital was under investigation after 14 patients were killed, local media reported.
As word of the fire spread, the country was still shocked by news that more than 20 coronavirus patients on ventilators had died from a loss of oxygen at a hospital in Nashik, also in the hard-hit state of Maharashtra.
In a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, Delhi State Prime Minister Arvind Kejriwal said his region was facing severe oxygen shortages and challenged the central government to provide supplies.
“There is a huge oxygen shortage in Delhi. Want [the] don’t people in Delhi get oxygen if there are no oxygen producing plants here? “Kejriwal said, as reported by the Indian news agency ANI.
“Please suggest who I should talk to [the] central government when an oxygen tanker bound for Delhi is stopped in another state, ”he said.