India battles record COVID surge

Beating the earth with his fists, a young man wails as the body of his father, who died after contracting COVID-19, is taken from an ambulance and lowered into a hastily-dug grave in India's capital New Delhi.

On Friday (April 16), a steady stream of ambulances arrived at the Jadid Qabristan cemetery on the outskirts of the ancient walled city, where a vast patch of waste ground was turned into a COVID-19 burial ground last year.

Mohamad Irfan who has just lost a relative to coronavirus said necessarily equipment to save patients were not readily available at the hospital.

The government said it would supply an estimated 17,000 tonnes of oxygen to a dozen states where the virus is surging, including western Maharashtra and Delhi.

Meanwhile, Indian health minister Harsh Vardhan visited coronavirus patients at a local hospital ward.

In later comments made to local media, he said that India "learned from our experiences" from fighting COVID-19 over the past year.

In central Raipur city, hundreds queued outside of a local hospital on Thursday (April 15) waiting for injections of Remdesivir, an anti-viral drug.

Supplies of it are being stepped up after reports of a widespread shortage.

India has so far injected 117 million vaccine doses, the highest globally after the United States and China, but that covers only a small fraction of its 1.35 billion people.

Video Transcript

[CHATTER]

[CRYING]

- [SPEAKING ARABIC]

INTERPRETER: We accept the fact that the coronavirus is here and this is widespread, but the equipment that should be there, the facilities that should be there in the hospitals, they are not there. They should be there. Where should the poor man go?

- [SPEAKING ARABIC]

- [SPEAKING ARABIC]