India COVID-19 cases surge as oxygen runs out

Sirens wail as a police escort helps offload an oxygen tanker at a hospital in New Delhi.

Medical oxygen is precious now there.

India's seen a dire shortage of it as it it reports the worst daily rises of new coronavirus cases seen anywhere.

Hospitals are overwhelmed with patients suffering with COVID-19.

"The government is saying that those who are in dire need of oxygen cylinders will be provided with one, but nothing is happening. All the helpline numbers issued by the government are switched off."

India on Friday posted the world's record daily caseload for second straight day, with over 330,000 new cases.

Deaths in the past 24 hours also jumped to over 2,200, the health ministry said.

That's about one fatality every five minutes.

Drone footage showed images of mass cremations fires burning and bodies being carried on wooden planks.

As the virus surges, Indian healthcare providers appealed for emergency supplies of oxygen.

Similar desperate calls from hospitals and ordinary people have been posted on social media for days this week across the country.