News reports say hapless villagers have been rushing the sick to nearby towns and cities for treatment.
India reported a smaller rise in daily coronavirus infections on Saturday, but deaths stayed near the 4,000 mark, with the World Health Organisation warning that the second year of the pandemic could be worse than the first.
India's two biggest cities have reported a drop in daily infections but the government is warning that the devastating surge is spreading in rural areas, where nearly two-thirds of India's 1.4 billion people live.
India reported 326,098 new confirmed cases and 3,890 deaths in the past 24 hours, though experts say both figures are an undercount. The Health Ministry had reported 343,144 cases on Friday and 362,727 on Thursday.
In Geneva, the World Health Organization's chief said the second year of the pandemic was set to be more deadly than the first, with India a huge concern.
A burial of a Covid victim under way in a cemetery.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus's remarks to an online meeting on Friday came after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi sounded the alarm over the rapid spread of the disease through the vast countryside.
News reports say hapless villagers have been rushing the sick to nearby towns and cities for treatment because health care facilities are limited in the countryside.
The World Health Organisation chief said the second year of the pandemic was set to be deadlier than the first.
India’s capital has reported less than 10,000 new cases in a day for the first time in over a month. It recorded 8,506 cases in the past 24 hours.
After a peak of 11,000 daily infections, Mumbai, India’s financial and entertainment capital, has been reporting less than 2,000.
Cases have fallen steadily in states hit by an initial surge in infections.
During the past week, the south Asian nation has added about 1.7 million new cases and more than 20,000 deaths. Its death toll stands at 266,207, health ministry data shows.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his country would accelerate its vaccination programme, to try to contain a fast-spreading Indian variant that could knock off-track the re-opening of Britain's economy.
Johnson's comments came soon after India accepted a government panel's recommendation for a longer gap of 12 to 16 weeks between the first and second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, from six to eight weeks now.
India’s capital records 8,506 cases in the past 24 hours.
Cases have fallen steadily in states hit by an initial surge in infections, such as the richest state of Maharashtra and the northern state of Delhi, after they imposed stringent lockdowns.
But the eastern state of West Bengal, which held elections recently, experienced its biggest single-day spike, suggesting a fall in the overall caseload may take a while.
Infections in Modi's western home state of Gujarat fell below 10,000 after four straight weeks but officials warned against any relaxation in curbs until they return to levels seen before the breakout of India's second wave in mid-February.
The latest update from the Health Ministry on Friday shows the declining trend with recoveries exceeding new cases this week, and prompting several state governments to ease some of the restrictions.
Firefighters and 15 fire engines contained the fire to the intensive care unit at Shrey Hospital and it was extinguished in half an hour, fire officer Yusuf Khan said.
The United States now advises against travelling to India, even for those fully vaccinated, while Britain has added India to its "red list". Hong Kong and New Zealand have banned flights.
The chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) said that all countries living with COVID-19 will be the new normal in the coming months, as the pandemic had already infected more than 10 million people worldwide, including more than 500,000 deaths.
A third wave of coronavirus infections is likely to hit India by October, and although it will be better controlled than the latest outbreak the pandemic will remain a public health threat for at least another year, according to a poll of medical experts.
He added, “What we experience today will become something of the past tomorrow. Joining university and getting a degree was the ultimate end of our parents, but I assure you that education will never come to an end."
In a flash of a second, the men started to climb the pipe attached to the building forming a human chain.