India's COVID-19 crisis continues to deepen in the horrendous second wave of the pandemic - with one out of six people tested returning a positive result for the coronavirus.

The situation is so bad that the country of 1.3 billion people is fast running out of beds to accommodate COVID-19 patients, reported Channel News Asia (CNA).

For instance, the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital in New Delhi is forced to house two COVID-19 patients who are unrelated to each other, and are gasping for breath while being hooked on to oxygen masks, on a single bed.

Ambulances carrying COVID-19 patients are streaming into the 1,500-bed hospital, while there are also other patients arriving in buses and auto rickshaws.

And it is not only beds which are in short supply. On Sunday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that the state, where 25,500 infections were recorded as of Sunday, is also experiencing an "acute shortage of oxygen".

"The cases are rising very fast... only 100 beds left," he reportedly said in a video statement.

According to him, additional beds will be set up in schools and a sport complex in the state to cope with the alarming increase in cases.

Almost 3,700 cases have been reported in the city of Haridwar in Uttarakhand, where the Kumbh Mela religious festival has been going on.

Political rallies and election campaigns for upcoming polls are worsening the situation, experts have noted, as attendees turn out in huge numbers without face masks and observing physical distancing.

India has so far administered more than 122 million COVID-19 vaccines so far, but some states have started complaining of low stocks.

Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms but turned away by hospitals due to high case-load, Indians are turning to the black market to buy drugs such as remdesivir and tocilizumab - the effectiveness of which against COVID-19 are yet to be proven.

A record high of 261,500 new cases were recorded in India yesterday, bringing the total number of infections to 14.8 million. This makes the country the world's second most-infected nation, after the United States.

The coronavirus has infected more than 141 million people worldwide and killed over three million.

Source: CNA
Photo source: Reuters via CNA