By NEHA MEHROTRA and ASHOK SHARMA*
NEW DELHI (AP) — India put oxygen tankers on special express trains as major hospitals in New Delhi begged on social media on Friday for more supplies to save COVID-19 patients who are struggling to breathe. More than a dozen people died when an oxygen-fed fire ripped through a coronavirus ward in a populous western state.
India’s underfunded health system is tattering as the world’s worst coronavirus surge wears out the nation, which set a global record in daily infections for a second straight day with 332,730.
India has confirmed 16 million cases so far, second only to the United States in a country of nearly 1.4 billion people. India has recorded 2,263 deaths in the past 24 hours for a total of 186,920.
The fire in a hospital intensive care unit killed 13 COVID-19 patients in the Virar area on the outskirts of Mumbai early Friday.
The situation is worsening by the day with hospitals taking to social media to plead with the government to replenish their oxygen supplies and threatening to stop admissions of new patients.