: COVID-19 crisis deepens in India as the U.S. and others pledge help

AFP via Getty ImagesThe number of daily coronavirus infections in India reached another record on Monday for the fifth consecutive day, with 352,991 new cases, as many world powers pledged to send aid to help fight a surge that threatens to overwhelm the country’s hospitals.Long-underfunded hospitals throughout the country have been refusing to treat patients as they face shortages of oxygen and beds.In some of the worst-hit cities, bodies are being burned in makeshift facilities offering mass services, Reuters reported.Only 1.6% of the Indian population has been fully vaccinated so far, and 8.5% have received at least one shot of one of the vaccines.U.S. president Joe Biden and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyenpromised on Sunday to send oxygen, equipment, protective equipment and raw materials for vaccines to India. They were joined on Monday by the U.K.The outlook: The speed and virulence of the current wave of the pandemic in India is alarming medical authorities worldwide, who fear it could become a breeding ground for new and more aggressive variants of the virus.

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