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India marks one covid-19 death every 5 minutes as country hits new case record

People across India scrambled for life-saving oxygen supplies on Friday and patients lay dying outside hospitals as the capital recorded the equivalent of one death from COVID-19 every five minutes.

For the second day running, the country’s overnight infection total was higher than ever recorded anywhere in the world since the pandemic began last year, at 332,730.

India’s second wave has hit with such ferocity that hospitals are running out of oxygen, beds and anti-viral drugs. Many patients have been turned away because there was no space for them, doctors in Delhi said.

Ambulance sirens sounded throughout the day in the deserted streets of the capital, one of India’s worst hit cities, where a lockdown is in place to try and stem the transmission of the virus.

In Mumbai, a fire broke out in a suburban hospital treating COVID-19 patients early on Friday, killing 13 people. On Wednesday, 22 patients died at a public hospital in Maharashtra where Mumbai is located when oxygen supply ran out due to a leaking tank.

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