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India set an unsettling pandemic world record Monday — recording more than 350,000 new COVID-19 infections in a single day.
The hard-hit South Asian nation reported 352,991 new cases, according to data from India’s health ministry, marking the fifth straight day of record cases nationwide and the highest-ever daily infection toll recorded in the world.
At least 2,812 virus deaths were also reported, bringing the death toll to 195,123.
More than 17.3 million people have been infected in the country, second only to the United States — although experts believe the true figures are likely much higher.
The surge has bought India’s health care system to its knees, as horrifying reports emerge of the infected dying in the streets.
Emergency workers have run out of stretchers, hospitals are battling a critical oxygen shortage, and the chimneys of crematoriums have even melted from constant use.
Public parks have had to be converted to crematoriums to help handle the flood of corpses.
Experts attribute the eruption of infections to new, highly contagious COVID-19 variants, a shortage of medical supplies, and lax lockdowns.
Despite the devastation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has not imposed a national lockdown, instead leaving that decision up to cities and states.
The White House promised Sunday to send aid to India in the form of therapeutics, rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators, personal protective equipment and raw materials for manufacturing vaccines.
The highest number of daily new cases recorded in the United States was 313,000, recorded on Jan. 8, according to CDC data.
More than 32 million Americans have been infected in total, and more than 572,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University figures.