India desperate for oxygen amid record COVID surge
India is clamoring for oxygen, with the number of COVID-19 cases in the country rising to record levels.
Patients at crowded hospitals are waiting for fresh supplies, their anxious relatives forming long lines in areas where oxygen is provided and at makeshift vehicles supplying it.
Several major hospitals in the Indian capital tweeted that they had less than two hours of oxygen left, while others in the city reported that they were suspending new admissions.
Oxygen machines from China are on their way to India, while those that have already arrived are being prepared for immediate use.
Medical supplies flown in from countries such as Singapore, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, among others, have been sent to emergency units.
Each day has brought new heartbreak and an increased sense of helplessness in India.
On Wednesday, India's coronavirus death toll passed 200,000 as a relentless wave of new cases swamped hospitals.
India, with a population of 1.39 billion, recorded 360,000 new infections－a global record－and more than 3,000 deaths on Wednesday.
World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday, "The situation in India is beyond heartbreaking."
Crematoriums and burial grounds are being overwhelmed.
At Nigambodh Ghat, the biggest crematoriums in New Delhi, some 120 bodies were cremated on Saturday, the highest daily figure to date this year.