India's coronavirus infections surged past 5 million on Wednesday, piling pressure on hospitals grappling with unreliable supplies of oxygen that they need to treat tens of thousands of critical patients.
In the big states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, that are also some of the worst-affected by the virus, demand for oxygen has more than tripled, doctors and government officials said, prompting urgent calls for help.
"Desperate patients have been calling me through the night but I don't know when I will get stock," Rishikhesh Patil, an oxygen supplier in the western city of Nashik, told Reuters.
The health ministry reported 90,123 new infections on Wednesday, taking the total caseload to 5.02 million.
The death toll from Covid-19 is now at 82,066, the ministry said, with 1,290 fatalities recorded in the previous 24 hours.
Coronavirus across the globe
Coronavirus across the globe
A woman takes a selfie with glowing full moon installations at a park in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. The artificial full moons have been installed by a local officials to increase morale during the COVID-19 outbreak and to celebrate the upcoming Chuseok holiday, the Korean version of Thanksgiving Day. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
Women stand next to glowing full moon installations at a park in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. The artificial full moons have been installed by a local officials to increase morale during the COVID-19 outbreak and to celebrate the upcoming Chuseok holiday, the Korean version of Thanksgiving Day. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
A man wearing a face mask rides an escalator in subway in Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. The Czech Republic has been been facing the second wave of infections. The number of new confirmed coronavirus infections has been setting new records almost on a daily basis, currently surpassing 2,000 cases in one day for the first time. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Hasidic Jewish pilgrims gather in front of Ukrainian border guards at the checkpoint Novaya Guta near Novaya Guta, Belarus, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. Ukrainian officials say that thousands of Hasidic Jewish pilgrims stuck on the Ukrainian border due to coronavirus restrictions have started turning back. About 2,000 ultra-Orthodox Jewish pilgrims traveled to Belarus's border with Ukraine in hope of traveling to the Ukrainian city of Uman to visit the grave of an important Hasidic rabbi who died in 1810, Nachman of Breslov. (AP Photo)
Healthcare worker Mariela Jacobo conducts a nasal swab test for COVID-19 from inside a freestanding coronavirus testing isolation booth, at the Posadas hospital, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Lisa lifts the official beer mug at the 'Oktoberfest' beer festival area 'Theresienwiese' in Munich, Germany, Thursday, Sept.17, 2020. The mug edition is limited to 15000 pieces and already sold out. The worlds largest beer festival was cancelled this year due to the new coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - SEPTEMBER,17 (RUSSIA OUT): Street musicians Sergei Valkov (C) and Tumur Murakaev (R) play violins in the underground passage of a metro station, on September 17, 2020 in Moscow, Russia. The requirement to wear masks and gloves to combat a spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is still in effect in Moscow's region. (Photo by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks after participating in a coronavirus vaccine briefing with public health experts, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
LA ROCHE-SUR-FORON, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 17: Start / Oliver Naesen of Belgium and Team Ag2R La Mondiale / Mask / Covid safety measures / Public / Fans / Social distance / during the 107th Tour de France 2020, Stage 18 a 175km stage from Méribel to La Roche sur Foron 543m / #TDF2020 / @LeTour / on September 17, 2020 in La Roche-sur-Foron, France. (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
Brides and grooms wait for the Popes arrival for a limited public audience at the San Damaso courtyard in The Vatican on September 16, 2020 during the COVID-19 infection, caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP) (Photo by VINCENZO PINTO/AFP via Getty Images)
Pope Francis meets with worshippers and nuns wearing a face mask, upon his arrival to hold a limited public audience at the San Damaso courtyard in The Vatican on September 16, 2020 during the COVID-19 infection, caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP) (Photo by VINCENZO PINTO/AFP via Getty Images)
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 16: Patrons watch the tigers at Dreamworld on September 16, 2020 in Gold Coast, Australia. Dreamworld and its sister park White Water World have reopened to the public after the theme parks were closed in March over coronavirus concerns. Under the park's new COVID-19 safe plan, visitor numbers have been reduced and some rides and attractions will remain closed. Visitors will need to maintain physical distancing from other guests, and additional handwashing and hand sanitiser stations have been installed throughout the park. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
WUHAN, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 16: (CHINA OUT) A man wears a mask while worshipping at the Guiyuan temple on September 16 , 2020 in Wuhan, Hubei province, China.The Guiyuan temple opened for the first time after the outbreak of the coronavirus.As there have been no recorded cases of community transmission in Wuhan since May, life for residents is returning to normal. (Photo by Getty Images)
Palestinians walk past a mural depicting a man and woman wearing a face mask painted on a wall in Deir Al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip on Sept, 14, 2020.- Palestinian artists painted murals in different places in the Gaza Strip as part of a campaign to raise awareness of COVID-19 prevention during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
(Photo by Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Students study at Birmingham City University at the start of term, as thousands prepare to study in socially distanced surroundings. (Photo by Jacob King/PA Images via Getty Images)
A lady takes rest inside a matro cab in Kolkata.Kolkata Metro railway services resume under protocol of fourth phase of India Unlock, after being closed for almost over 6 months due to lock-down owing to COVID-19 outbreak. Strict protocols were maintain during the operation. (Photo by Debarchan Chatterjee/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Palestinians walk past a mural depicting the coronavirus, in Deir Al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip on Sept, 14, 2020.- Palestinian artists painted murals in different places in the Gaza Strip as part of a campaign to raise awareness of COVID-19 prevention during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
(Photo by Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Silvio Berlusconi press conference after his hospital discharge from San Raffaele Hospital in Milan where the Italian ex prime minister has been hospitalised after testing positive for the Coronavirus (Covid-19) on September 14, 2020 in Milan, Italy (Photo by Alessandro Bremec/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A nurse takes a sample from a woman for a coronavirus test inside a bus converted into a test lab at the Sao Domingos de Rana high school in Cascais on September 14, 2020. - A coronavirus bus travelled through several schools in Cascais in the outskirts of Lisbon to deliver free COVID-19 tests to teachers and school employees days before the beginning of the academic year. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP) (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images)
Dancers wear masks as they perform "Solo at Dusk," a work by Bobbi Jene Smith in collaboration with Or Schraiber, during the opening night of L.A. Dance Project's Drive-In Dances series on Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020, in downtown Los Angeles. The series was conceived by L.A. Dance Project to safely bring live dance back to Los Angeles during the COVID-19 era by reimagining their 2020-2021 season as a drive-in experience. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Dancers perform "Solo at Dusk," a work by Bobbi Jene Smith in collaboration with Or Schraiber, during the opening night of L.A. Dance Project's Drive-In Dances series, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020, in downtown Los Angeles. The series was conceived by L.A. Dance Project to safely bring live dance back to Los Angeles during the COVID-19 era by reimagining their 2020-2021 season as a drive-in experience. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Azerbaijani actress Rana Asgarova wears a face mask as she arrives to attend a photocall for the film "Sepelenmis olumler arasinda" (In Between Dying) presented in competition on the tenth day of the 77th Venice Film Festival, on September 11, 2020 at Venice Lido, during the COVID-19 infection, caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP) (Photo by TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images)
A man wearing a mask and a face shield to curb the spread of the new coronavirus walks near a mural depicting the ruins of Machu Picchu, in Lima, Peru, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
A medic makes an intubation for a mechanical ventilation to a patient suffering from Covid-19 at the emergency unit of La Timone hospital in Marseille, southeastern France, on September 11, 2020. (Photo by Christophe SIMON / AFP) (Photo by CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP via Getty Images)
A masked and hooded man hurls stones at police during protests sparked by the death of a man after he was detained by police for violating social distancing rules to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Bogota, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. Javier Ordonez died in a hospital after receiving repeated electric shocks with a stun gun from officers who detained him, seen on a video taken by Ordonez's friend, and published on social media. (AP Photo/Ivan Valencia)
Demonstrators clash with police during protests sparked by the death of a man after he was detained by police in Bogota, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. Javier Humberto Ordonez, 46, died in hospital after receiving repeated electric shocks with a stun gun from officers who detained him for violating social distancing rules to curb the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Ivan Valencia)
A worker disinfects a classroom in preparation for reopening schools that were closed in March, in Karachi, Pakistan, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020. Education officials in Pakistan say authorities will start reopening schools from Sept. 15 amid a steady decline in coronavirus deaths and infections. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)
Policía de la provincia de Buenos Aires protesta para pedir mejores salarios y condiciones de trabajo en medio de la pandemia del nuevo coronavirus en La Matanza, a las afueras de Buenos Aires, Argentina, el miércoles 9 de septiembre de 2020. (AP Foto/Natacha Pisarenko)
An electoral observer sits at a polling station during Tigrays regional elections, in the town of Tikul, 15 kms east from Mekele, Ethiopia, on September 9, 2020. - Ethiopia's northern Tigray region vote on September 9, 2020 in parliamentary elections that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's government has deemed illegal.
Polls opened at 6am (0300 GMT) across the mountainous northern Tigray region despite a federal decision to postpone all elections because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by EDUARDO SOTERAS / AFP) (Photo by EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP via Getty Images)
09 September 2020, North Rhine-Westphalia, Brühl: Commissioner candidates will take their oath at the swearing-in ceremony of the Cologne, Bonn and Aachen police forces in front of Augustusburg Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Due to the corona protection measures, there will be no joint celebration this time, but several smaller events. Photo: Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa (Photo by Rolf Vennenbernd/picture alliance via Getty Images)
DEIR AL-BALAH, GAZA - SEPTEMBER 09: A baby is seen as routine vaccination of babies are started after 20 days under the measures taken against the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Deir al Balah, Gaza on September 09, 2020. (Photo by Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
PATNA, INDIA SEPTEMBER 8: A waiter wear PPE coveralls serve food to customers at Hotel Panache, on September 8, 2020 in Patna, India. (Photo by Santosh Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Pope Francis takes off his face mask as he arrives during his weekly general audience in San Damaso courtyard at the Vatican, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. (Photo by Massimo Valicchia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - SEPTEMBER 9, 2020: A medical worker gives a volunteer a trial vaccine against COVID-19 at Moscow's N62 Outpatient Clinic in a post-registration phase of testing. Sergei Bobylev/TASS (Photo by Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images)
MUMBAI, INDIA SEPTEMBER 8: BMC medical staff conducts Swab Test, Rapid Integen Test and malaria test of Police personnel posted at Shivaji Park Police station, Dadar, on September 8, 2020 in Mumbai, India. (Photo by Anshuman Poyrekar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
A school staff controls the temperature to young student which wears face mask protection to prevent the spread of the coronavirus before entering to Labastida Ikastola school, in the small basque town of Labastida, northern Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. Spanish students return to class for the first time since the pandemic paralyzed Spain six months ago. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)
Tim Declercq of Deceuninck - Quick - Step and Kasper Asgreen of Deceuninck - Quick - Step pictured at the start of the ninth stage of the 107th edition of the Tour de France cycling race from Ile d'Oleron Le Chateau-d'Oleron to Ile de Re Saint-Martin-de-Re (168,5km), in France, Tuesday 08 September 2020. This year's Tour de France was postponed due to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic. The 2020 race starts in Nice on Saturday 29 August and ends on 20 September. BELGA PHOTO POOL PETER DE VOECHT (Photo by POOL PETER DE VOECHT/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)
Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi fastens the flag of the National League for Democracy party during a ceremony to mark the first day of election campaigning at the party's temporary headquarters in Naypyitaw, Myanmar on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. Myanmar holds a general election on Nov. 8 and began a sixty-day election campaign period Tuesday, which may be disrupted due to a resurgence of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Aung Shine Oo)
Attendees wearing face masks watch an event to honor some of those involved in China's fight against COVID-19 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. Chinese leader Xi Jinping is praising China's role in battling the global coronavirus pandemic and expressing support for the U.N.'s World Health Organization, in a repudiation of U.S. criticism and a bid to rally domestic support for Communist Party leadership. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
A general view shows chairs installed at Tel Aviv's Rabin Square to symbolise the 1,000 coronavirus deaths in Israel, on September 7, 2020. - Once a role model in the fight against Covid-19, Israel decided the previous day to partially lock down several cities to slow the fast-spreading contagion as the government faces harsh criticism over the crisis. Israel passed the milestone of 1,000 novel coronavirus deaths this weekend after the toll tripled over the summer. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP) (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
Children wearing protective face masks arrive at school on September 7, 2020 in Zagreb. - School started in Croatia today with the implementation of epidemiological measures to combat the covid-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo by DENIS LOVROVIC / AFP) (Photo by DENIS LOVROVIC/AFP via Getty Images)
A woman pushes a cart with plastic containers filled with potable water from a pumping plant at Las Margaritas neighborhood, after a failure in the water supply network that has affected residents for a month, as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues, in Soyapango, El Salvador August 19, 2020. Picture taken August 19, 2020. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas
MUMBAI, INDIA - SEPTEMBER 6: Healthcare workers during COVID-19 screening and swab test at Vileparle(E), on September 6, 2020 in Mumbai, India. (Photo by Satyabrata Tripathy/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
RAMALLAH, WEST BANK - SEPTEMBER 06: Palestinian students wearing protective face masks start face-to-face learning at Al-Birah Primary school as schools which have been closed due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic since March, resume for first, second, third and fourth grade students under Covid-19 measures in Ramallah, West Bank on September 06, 2020. (Photo by Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Devotees sit aside of a road in front of their houses to watch the celebrations of the Rato (Red) Machindranath Chariot festival after the government imposed ban on public gatherings as preventive measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, in Lalitpur, on the outskirts of Kathmandu on September 6, 2020. - The centuries-old procession was supposed to begin at the end of April but was delayed when a nationwide coronavirus lockdown was imposed on March 24. Although restrictions were eased in July, curbs were imposed again on August 20 as coronavirus cases surged. Only essential services are allowed on the streets. (Photo by PRAKASH MATHEMA / AFP) (Photo by PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP via Getty Images)
Performers pull a chariot during the Rato (Red) Machindranath Chariot festival after the government imposed ban on public gatherings as preventive measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, in Lalitpur, on the outskirts of Kathmandu on September 6, 2020. - The centuries-old procession was supposed to begin at the end of April but was delayed when a nationwide coronavirus lockdown was imposed on March 24. Although restrictions were eased in July, curbs were imposed again on August 20 as coronavirus cases surged. Only essential services are allowed on the streets. (Photo by PRAKASH MATHEMA / AFP) (Photo by PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP via Getty Images)
Police detain people as they patrol the area after protesters called for a rally in Hong Kong on September 6, 2020 to protest against the government's decision to postpone the legislative council election due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, and the national security law. - Nearly 100 people were arrested by Hong Kong police on September 6 as riot officers swooped on democracy protesters opposed to the postponement of local elections. (Photo by DALE DE LA REY / AFP) (Photo by DALE DE LA REY/AFP via Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 06: A bionic fish on display during the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) at Beijing Olympic Park on September 6, 2020 in Beijing, China. As China recovers from the COVID-19 epidemic, about 2,000 Chinese and foreign enterprises will participate and showcase their newest technology in public health and digital technology in the China International Fair for Trade in Services. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
LARUNS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 06: Start / Podium / Domenico Pozzovivo of Italy and NTT Pro Cycling Team / Pau Village / Mask / Covid Safety Measures / during the 107th Tour de France 2020, Stage 9 a 153km stage from Pau to Laruns 495m / #TDF2020 / @LeTour / on September 06, 2020 in Laruns, France. (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Iranian actress Shamila Shirzad wears a face mask during a photocall for the film "Khorshid" (Sun Children) presented in competition on the fifth day of the 77th Venice Film Festival, on September 6, 2020 at Venice Lido, during the COVID-19 infection, caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP) (Photo by TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images)
A girl clad in mask poses for a picture during an awareness session about COVID-19 coronavirus disease held by a local kindergarten in Gaza City on August 10, 2020, as education facilities in the Palestinian enclave re-opened for the new 2020-2021 academic year following an easing of pandemic restrictions. (Photo by Mohammed ABED / AFP) (Photo by MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images)
SYDNEY, NSW - SEPTEMBER 05: Police take away a woman during the Freedom Day Rally on September 05, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. Protesters argue COVID-19 is a hoax and say their freedoms are being unfairly impinged. Demonstrations are also taking place in every Australian capital city and several regional areas, including Byron Bay. (Photo by Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Re-enactors in World War One (WWI) French army uniform, wear protective nose and mouth masks against the novel coronavirus, Covid-19, as they participate in a two day event to mark the 106th anniversary of the Battle of the Marne which took place in September 1914 and which resulted in an Allied victory against the German armies in the west, in Meaux on September 5, 2020. (Photo by JOEL SAGET / AFP) (Photo by JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 05: People protest for personal freedoms and against the Italian government restrictions related to the Coronavirus pandemic on September 5, 2020 in Rome, Italy. A demonstration organized by "No Mask", COVID-19 deniers and far-right political parties to protest against Italian government restrictions related to the Coronavirus pandemic. According to the Ministry of Health, Coronavirus infection rates are climbing again in Italy. (Photo by Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 05: A man holds a photo of Bill Gates and an inscription reading " The Antichrist 666"during the protest from "No Mask" movements on September 5, 2020 in Rome, Italy. A demonstration organized by "No Mask", COVID-19 deniers and far-right political parties to protest against Italian government restrictions related to the Coronavirus pandemic. According to the Ministry of Health, Coronavirus infection rates are climbing again in Italy. (Photo by Stefano Montesi - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
SYDNEY, NSW - SEPTEMBER 05: A woman talks to the police during the Freedom Day Rally on September 05, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. Protesters argue COVID-19 is a hoax and say their freedoms are being unfairly impinged. Demonstrations are also taking place in every Australian capital city and several regional areas, including Byron Bay. (Photo by Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
MALAGA, SPAIN - 2020/09/05: Protesters dressed in green t-shirts while holding hands during the demonstration at Plaza de la Marina square in favour of public education and to demand more safety measures at schools amid Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
Spain lives its second wave outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) with thousands of people infected every day while most of schools reopen for thousands of students and teachers that return to classrooms. Mandatory faces masks, social distancing and use of sanitizers are some of measures implemented at schools and universities. (Photo by Jesus Merida/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
ZAGREB, CROATIA - SEPTEMBER 5: Croatians take part in Anti-COVID Freedom Festival at Jelacic Square in Zagreb, Croatia on September 5, 2020. (Photo by Stipe Majic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - 2020/09/05: A man wearing IPE (Individual Protection Equipment) protesting during a demonstration against the mandatory use of face masks, the use of a vaccine against coronavirus, the implementation of 5G, and other measures adopted by the Spanish government to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Spain as COVID-19 positive cases continue to increase. (Photo by Marcos del Mazo/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A Palestinian demonstrator wearing a protective face mask, to protect from COVID-19, stands by during clashes following a weekly demonstration against Israeli Jewish settlements, in the West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum near Nablus, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020.(AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
A group of young students wearing face mask protection to prevent the spread of the coronavirus wait outside to enter in a state school in Pamplona, northern Spain, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. After six months with all Spanish schools closed by crisis of COVID-19, today is opening a new school year with new rules to prevent the pandemic coronavirus. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)
Francisco Espana, 60, looks at the Mediterranean sea from a promenade next to the "Hospital del Mar" in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. Francisco spent 52 days in the Intensive Care unit at the hospital due to coronavirus, but today he was allowed by his doctors to spend almost ten minutes at the seaside as part of his recovery therapy. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
A man lays inside a mock coffin as punishment for violating city regulations requiring people to wear face masks in public places as a precaution against the new coronavirus outbreak in Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)
Director Pedro Almodovar, left, and actress Tilda Swinton pose during the photo call for the movie 'The human voice' during the 77th edition of the Venice Film Festival at the Venice Lido, Italy, Thursday, Sep. 3, 2020. The Venice Film Festival goes from Sept. 2 through Sept. 12. Italy was among the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, and the festival will serve as a celebration of its re-opening and a sign that the film world, largely on pause since March, is coming back as well. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
Nepalese protesters defying a government coronavirus lockdown to take part in a religious festival clash with riot police, in Lalitpur, Nepal, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020. A 5-story-high chariot holding a statue of the deity Rato Machindranath was built but parked for months because of government orders not hold the annual festival due to fear over the spread of the coronavirus. The statue is normally pulled around the city for a month. Police officers in riot gear blocked the protesters when they moved the chariot, dousing them with water cannons. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - SEPTEMBER 3, 2020: An employee of the Leader center for high risk rescue operations of the Russian Emergencies Ministry disinfects a waiting area at the Leningradsky railway station amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Maxim Grigoryev/TASS (Photo by Maxim Grigoryev\TASS via Getty Images)
IRUN, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 03: A health worker does a PCR test on a patient at Ficoba exhibition site, where mass coronavirus tests are being carried out on September 03, 2020 in Irun, Spain. Some infections were detected at the Gaztelumendi bar in the town centre and all customers who were at the bar between the 24th and 28th of August have been asked to have a PCR test. (Photo by Gari Garaialde/Getty Images)
MTA-North Railroad's mascot, Metro-Man hands out facemasks to commuters as they arrive at Grand Central Terminal on September 2, 2020 in New York. - Facemasks are required to ride the MTA's Metro-North Railroad, which serves New York and parts of New York state and Connecticut, as the face coverings are a critical tool in the fight against covid-19. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)
A healthcare worker wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) waits for people to be tested for the rapid antigen Covid-19 test in Mumbai, India on September 02, 2020. The test allows faster diagnosis of samples and results are available within 30 minutes. (Photo by Himanshu Bhatt/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
TURIN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 02: A student wearing face masks attends a lesson at Erasmo da Rotterdam high school on September 02, 2020 in Turin, Italy. Erasmo da Rotterdam high school in the Nichelino district will start the fall semester with a model to ensure a safe reopening by installing sinks and soap dispensers outside each classroom, creating social distancing screens in classrooms and dining areas and installing hand sanitiser dispensers. According to the Ministry of Health, Coronavirus infection rates are climbing again in Italy from an average of 1000 new cases per day. (Photo by Diego Puletto/Getty Images)
Inside one of Hong Kong's Covid-19 city-wide testing centres in Hong Kong, China, on September 2, 2020. Over half a million residents have registered for the free government scheme, Kwun Chung Municipal Services Building, Jordan, Kowloon, Hong Kong. (Photo by Tommy Walker/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A kid waits for her swab collection amid covid-19 epidemic at a hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal on August 31, 2020. (Photo by Saroj Baizu/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 31: Activists from One Fair Wage hold a demonstration in Times Square to demand a 'fair wage' for tipped workers during coronavirus and beyond on August 31, 2020 in New York City. Demanding that all employers pay the full minimum wage with fair, non-discriminatory tips on top, the One Fair Wage campaign seeks to lift millions of tipped and sub minimum wage workers nationally out of poverty. According to the group, the restaurant industry includes 7 of the 10 lowest paying jobs in the country. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Roses are placed at a memorial honouring more than 5,700 residents of Los Angeles who lost their lives to coronavirus on August 31, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. - Mourners called on the board of supervisors to support new polices like public health councils to prevent more loss of life to the global pandemic. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - AUGUST 31: Nurses and doctors perform PCR tests in the laboratory installed in front of the Paris City Hall against the spread of the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) on August 31, 2020 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julien Mattia/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 31: A woman wearing a face mask waits for a bus on August 31, 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand. Face coverings are now compulsory for all New Zealanders over the age of 12 on public transport or planes under current Alert Level restrictions in place across the country. Auckland is currently at Alert Level 2.5 while the rest of New Zealand is at Alert Level 2. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
People cross a deserted intersection during a day long state-imposed lockdown as a preventive measure against the surge in Covid-19 coronavirus cases, in Kolkata on August 31, 2020. - India on August 30 set a coronavirus record when it reported 78,761 new infections in 24 hours the world's highest single day rise even as it continued to open up the economy. (Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP) (Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP via Getty Images)
A man rests in front of closed book stalls during a day long state-imposed lockdown as a preventive measure against the surge in Covid-19 coronavirus cases, in Kolkata on August 31, 2020. - India on August 30 set a coronavirus record when it reported 78,761 new infections in 24 hours the world's highest single day rise even as it continued to open up the economy. (Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP) (Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP via Getty Images)
A cop wears a mask during a state government imposed lockdown amid coronavirus emergency in Kolkata, India, 31 August, 2020. (Photo by Indranil Aditya/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
People wearing face masks stroll at Trocadero plaza near the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020. France registered more than 7,000 new virus infections in a single day Friday, up from several hundred a day in May and June, in part thanks to ramped-up testing. Masks are now required everywhere in public in Paris as authorities warn that infections are growing exponentially. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
ANKARA, TURKEY - AUGUST 30: Ceremonial soldiers, wearing masks as a precautionary measure against the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), perform at Anitkabir, the mausoleum of Turkish Republic founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, to mark the 98th Anniversary of Turkeyâs Victory Day, a key Turkish defeat of Greek forces in the countryâs War of Independence 1919-1922, and Turkish Armed Forces Day, in Ankara, Turkey on August 30, 2020. (Photo by Aytac Unal/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
A worker disinfects a classroom as a preventive measure against the spread of the new coronavirus before students taking a final-term school exam at a public school in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
Serbian Orthodox bishop Amfilohije wearing a mask against the spread of the coronavirus prepares to vote in parliamentary elections at a polling station in Cetinje, south of Podgorica, Montenegro, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. Voters in Montenegro on Sunday cast ballots in a tense election that is pitting the long-ruling pro-Western party against the opposition seeking closer ties with Serbia and Russia. (AP Photo/Risto Bozovic)
Muslims wearing face masks beat drums as they take part in a Muharram procession in Kolkata, India, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. India has the third-highest coronavirus caseload after the United States and Brazil, and the fourth-highest death toll in the world. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)
A protester holds a banner that reads "Compulsory vaccination, not with us", as participants obey social distancing rules during a demonstration against COVID-19 measures implemented by the Austrian government in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)
TOKYO, JAPAN - AUGUST 28: Pedestrians, many wearing protective masks, cross the road in Harajuku district on August 28, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. Japan has so far 66,481 infections, 1,254 death and 53,482 recoveries from the virus, which includes the numbers of cases on the Diamond Princess cruise ship. (Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images)
Demonstrators protest in front of the Parliament building against a judicial reform put forward by Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez, amid the record of infections and deaths from the new Coronavirus, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 27, 2020. (Photo by Manuel Cortina/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL â AUGUST 27: Doctors walk at the intensive care unit after viewing patients infected with coronavirus (Covid-19), at Municipal campaign hospital at Rio Centro convention centre, west of Rio De Janerio, Brazil on August 27, 2020. Brazil has reported 984 fatalities from the novel coronavirus, while Mexico registered 518 more deaths over the past 24 hours, according to health authorities late Thursday. In Brazil, the worldâs second worst-hit country after the US, the death toll went up to 118,649, while the confirmed cases climbed to nearly 3.76 million, including 44,235 new infections. So far, over 3.12 million people won the battle against the virus in the Latin American country. With a population of over 211 million, Brazil is seen as the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the region. (Photo by Fabio Teixeira/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
French President Emmanuel Macron (R), and French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, wearing a protective face masks, talk to employees as they visit a site of pharmaceutical group Seqens, a global leader on the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients, to mobilize innovation and support the research on the coronavirus disease Covid-19, in Villeneuve-la-Garenne, near Paris, Frances, on August 28, 2020. (Photo by CHRISTIAN HARTMANN / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CHRISTIAN HARTMANN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
MUMBAI, INDIA AUGUST 27: Healthcare workers during COVID-19 screening and swab test at Vileparle, on August 27, 2020 in Mumbai, India. (Photo by Satyabrata Tripathy/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Iraqi army honour guards wear facemasks to avoid the spread of the Covid-19 during a welcome ceremony for the French defence minister in Baghdad on August 27, 2020. - Parly held talks in Baghdad today, pledging continued support for Iraq's fight against remnants of the Islamic State group. (Photo by AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP) (Photo by AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images)
Tourists wearing a protective mask walk a front the Eiffel Tower a in Paris, France on August 27, 2020. (Photo by Mehdi Taamallah/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Participants of an exercise wear protective suits as they disinfect the street in front of the Kutvolgyi hospital in Budapest, Hungary, on August 27, 2020, during a training for medical staff, police and military officials, where the arrival of a tourist bus with coronavirus-infected travellers was simulated. (Photo by ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP) (Photo by ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images)
24 August 2020, Berlin: Annalena Baerbock, federal chairwoman of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, leaves the press conference with a mouth and nose protector. Photo: Kay Nietfeld/dpa (Photo by Kay Nietfeld/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Bavaria's State Premier Markus Soeder (R) welcomes Bayern Munich's players as they arrive at the airport in Munich, southern Germany on August 24, 2020 the day after winning the UEFA Champions League final football match against Paris Saint-Germain in Lisbon. (Photo by Peter Kneffel / POOL / AFP) (Photo by PETER KNEFFEL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Healthcare workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) conduct a medical check-up at a slum in Mumbai, India on August 24, 2020. India is the third worst-hit nation by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic after the United States and Brazil. (Photo by Himanshu Bhatt/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A chimpanzee at Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo, Samut Prakan Province, Thailand on 22 August, 2020. The farm and zoo claims to be the world's largest crocodile farm with more than 40,000 freshwater and marine crocodiles, and offers shows such as crocodile wrestling to attract tourists, return open amid outbreak of the coronavirus. (Photo by Anusak Laowilas/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Healthcare workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) walk through an alley during a medical check-up at a slum in Mumbai, India on August 23, 2020. India is the third worst-hit nation by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic after the United States and Brazil. (Photo by Himanshu Bhatt/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Staff Lieutenant General Abdel Wahab al-Saadi, head of the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (ICTS), arrives while mask-clad (COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic precaution) with the PM to the southern city of Basra late on August 22, 2020 during a surprise visit. (Photo by Hussein FALEH / AFP) (Photo by HUSSEIN FALEH/AFP via Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - AUGUST 23: Thousands of people stage a protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, demanding his resignation over corruption cases and his failure to combat the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in Tel Aviv, Israel on August 23, 2020. (Photo by Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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India has the world's fastest growing novel coronavirus epidemic and added its last million infections in just 12 days. It is only the second country in the world to have more than 5 million cases, after the United States.
At least 6% of India's nearly 1 million active cases need oxygen support, health ministry official Rajesh Bhushan told reporters. Supplies were adequate but state governments should monitor usage and flag shortages, he said.
"The problem happens when at a facility level, if there is no inventory management. Every state should ensure this," Bhushan said.
In the capital of India's most populous state of Uttar Pradesh, the total requirement of oxygen cylinders stood at 5,000 cylinders compared with 1,000 cylinders in normal times, a government official said.
The worst-affected state of Maharashtra has decided to reduce supply to neighbouring states to meet its growing demand, a state government official said.
Vehicles carrying oxygen will get right of way and can use sirens to ensure they reach hospitals faster.
Ravindra Khade Patil, a doctor who manages two private hospitals on the outskirts of Mumbai, spoke of the stress he faces trying to ensure he can supply his patients with oxygen.
Two days ago, the supplier of oxygen to his hospitals did not turn up at his usual time.
Patil made frantic calls to the supplier and then to nearby hospitals and lawmakers, knowing that if the oxygen didn't arrive on time, it would be too late for some of his most critical patients.
Finally, past midnight, thanks to pressure from a government official, the oxygen tanks arrived.
"If they had arrived even a couple of hours late, we could have lost five or six patients. Every day, we are worried if we will be able to meet our requirements, if the oxygen will arrive or not," Patil told Reuters.