India set a new global record of the most number of Covid-19 infections in a day, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday urged all citizens to be vaccinated and exercise caution, saying the "storm" of infections had shaken the country.
India's cases surged by 349 691 in 24 hours, the fourth straight day of record peaks, and hospitals in Delhi and across the country are turning patients away after running out of medical oxygen and beds, reports Reuters.
"We were confident, our spirits were up after successfully tackling the first wave, but this storm has shaken the nation," Modi said in a radio address.
Modi's government has faced criticism that it let its guard down, allowed big religious and political gatherings to take place when India's cases plummeted to below 10 000 a day and did not plan on bolstering healthcare systems.
India recorded over 17 million cases so far with the death toll at 192 000 yesterday.
Meanwhile, a fire sparked by an oxygen tank explosion killed at least 82 people and injured 110 at Ibn Khatib Hospital in Baghdad on Saturday that had been set up to house Covid-19 patients, the Interior Ministry said.
A man who had been visiting his brother said people jumped out of windows to escape.
"The fire spread, like fuel ... I took my brother out to the street, next to the checkpoint.
“People were jumping... Doctors fell on the cars. Everyone was jumping. And I kept going up from there, got people and come down again,” he said.