Indian capital running out of medical oxygen as pandemic surges

International

New Delhi, April 21 : Authorities said hospitals in the Indian capital of Delhi would start running out of medical oxygen by Wednesday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country faced a coronavirus "storm" overwhelming its health system.

Major government hospitals in the city of 20 million people had between eight and 24 hours' worth of oxygen while some private ones had enough for just four to five hours, said Delhi's deputy chief minister, Manish Sisodia.

"If we don't get enough supplies by tomorrow morning, it will be a disaster," he said, calling for urgent help from the federal government.

Modi said the federal government was working with local authorities nationwide to ensure adequate supplies of hospital beds, oxygen and anti-viral drugs to combat a huge second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The situation was manageable until a few weeks ago. The second wave of infections has come like a storm," he said in a televised address to the nation, urging citizens to stay indoors and not panic amid India's worst health emergency in memory.

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