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Woman crying outside hospital

A sick patient lay on the ground outside a hospital in the northern Indian city of Mathura on Wednesday, as health care across the country remained overwhelmed by an explosion of COVID-19 cases.

A massive wave of infections since April has pushed India’s health care system to the brink.

On Wednesday, people waited desperately to refill oxygen cylinders for loved ones on the streets of Moradabad, some 160 kilometres (100 miles) east of New Delhi.

Things were tense in Firozabad, another Uttar Pradesh city, where family members of a patient who died in hospital lashed out at police and hospital officials.

Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, implemented a five-day lockdown this week.

The leader of the South Asian country's main opposition party has called for a full national lockdown.