Delhi locks down as COVID cases soar

India's COVID crisis is deteriorating even further, with the capital region Delhi entering a six-day lockdown from Monday (April 19) night.

Daily cases nationwide also hit a new record of 273,810, and a new record of fatalities as well: over 1,600.

The country's health system crumbling under the weight.

India's hospitals face a shortage of beds, oxygen and medicines as infections pass the 15 million mark, second only to the United States.

Delhi's Chief Minister told a virtual press meeting on Monday, "Delhi's health system is unable to take more patients in big numbers," adding, "if a lockdown isn't implemented now the situation will go beyond control".

He said on Sunday (April 18) that there are less than 100 critical care beds available in New Delhi - a city with a population of more than 20 million people.

The worsening situation has also led to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson canceling a planned trip to India next week.

Delhi joins around 13 other states across the country that have decided to impose restrictions, curfews or lockdowns in their cities.

Criticism is continuing to mount on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's handling of the second wave, with religious festivals and election rallies still being attended by thousands.