WILMINGTON, UNITED STATES (REUTERS) – The United States is deeply concerned by a massive surge in coronavirus cases in India and plans to quickly deploy additional support to the Indian government and health care workers, a White House spokeswoman said on Saturday (April 24).

“We are in active conversations at high levels and plan to quickly deploy additional support to the Government of India and Indian health care workers as they battle this latest severe outbreak. We will have more to share very soon,” the spokeswoman told Reuters via email.

No further details were immediately available.

The crisis as deepened in India in recent weeks and overwhelmed hospitals in India begged for oxygen supplies on Saturday as the country’s coronavirus infections soared again overnight in a “tsunami” of disease, setting a new world record for cases for the third consecutive day.

Max Healthcare, which runs a network of hospitals in north India, tweeted that it had less than two hours of oxygen left while Fortis Healthcare, another big chain, said it was suspending new admissions in Delhi. “We are running on backup, waiting for supplies since morning,” Fortis said.

India is in the grip of a rampaging second wave of the pandemic, hitting a rate of one Covid-19 death in just under every four minutes in Delhi as the capital’s underfunded health system buckles.

The government has deployed military planes and trains to get oxygen to Delhi from the far corners of the country and overseas including Singapore.

The number of cases across the country of around 1.3 billion rose overnight by 346,786, the Health Ministry said, for a total of 16.6 million cases, including 189,544 deaths.

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