NEW DELHI

India registered fresh all-time highs Friday for coronavirus cases and deaths in the past 24 hours, according to Health Ministry data.  

It marked the second consecutive day that the country recorded over 300,000 infections. 

The ministry said 332,730 new cases were recorded, taking the country’s total to over 16 million. The death toll reached 186,920, including 2,263 new fatalities. 

On Thursday, for the first time since the start of the pandemic last year, the country’s daily coronavirus cases surpassed 300,000.

The record number of cases has choked India’s health system, leading to shortages of oxygen supplies, beds and treatment medicines. 

The situation is worse in the capital New Delhi, which is also witnessing an unprecedented surge in infections, and hospitals are overwhelmed. Many hospitals have approached the Delhi High Court regarding the shortage of oxygen. 

On Friday morning, New Delhi-based Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said they urgently need oxygen supplies and asked that oxygen supply be airlifted. It added that 25 patients had died in the last 24 hours. 

“The 25 sickest patients have died in the last 24 hours at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. Oxygen will last another two hours. Ventilators and BiPAP [machines] not working effectively,” the hospital said in a statement. “Major crisis likely. Lives of another 60 sickest patients in peril. Stop catastrophe. Need oxygen to be airlifted urgently.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to hold meetings Friday to review the coronavirus situation in the country. 

Meanwhile, at least 13 coronavirus patients at a hospital in western Maharashtra state died after a fire broke out. The incident happed at Vijay Vallabh Hospital in the Virar area.

Dilip Shah, a top management official, told reporters there are around 90 patients at the hospital.

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