COVID-19 crisis in India on display in these shocking photos

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Editor’s note: Images used in this story depict mass cremations and may be difficult for readers to look through.

COVID-19 cases are growing exponentially in India. As this new wave sweeps the nation of more than 1 billion, hospitals are running out of oxygen tanks and room to house patients. 

And the COVID-19 death count keeps climbing, to the point where authorities are holding mass cremations.

India recorded 379,308 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. That same day, 3,645 COVID-related deaths were also recorded. 

India now holds the second-highest COVID-19 case count in the world — more than 18 million — since the pandemic started, with the U.S. in the top spot with more than 32 million confirmed cases since last year.

Family members and ambulance workers in PPE gear carry the body of a victim who died from COVID-19 complications to a cremation site in New Delhi, India on Tuesday.

Family members and ambulance workers in PPE gear carry the body of a victim who died from COVID-19 complications to a cremation site in New Delhi, India on Tuesday.
PRAKASH SINGH, AFP via Getty Images

Multiple funeral pyres of victims of COVID-19 burn in an area that has been converted for mass cremation in New Delhi, India, Saturday, April 24, 2021.

Multiple funeral pyres of victims of COVID-19 burn in an area that has been converted for mass cremation in New Delhi, India, Saturday, April 24, 2021.
Altaf Qadri, AP

Top: A patient breathes with the help of oxygen provided by a Gurdwara, Sikh place of worship, inside a car in New Delhi, India, Saturday, April 24, 2021. India’s medical oxygen shortage has become so dire that this gurdwara began offering free breathing sessions with shared tanks to COVID-19 patients waiting for a hospital bed. | Bottom: People line up to receive a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Mumbai, India on Tuesday.
Top: A patient breathes with the help of oxygen provided by a Gurdwara, Sikh place of worship, inside a car in New Delhi, India, Saturday, April 24, 2021. India’s medical oxygen shortage has become so dire that this gurdwara began offering free breathing sessions with shared tanks to COVID-19 patients waiting for a hospital bed. | Bottom: People line up to receive a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Mumbai, India on Tuesday.
Left: A patient breathes with the help of oxygen provided by a Gurdwara, Sikh place of worship, inside a car in New Delhi, India, Saturday, April 24, 2021. India’s medical oxygen shortage has become so dire that this gurdwara began offering free breathing sessions with shared tanks to COVID-19 patients waiting for a hospital bed. | Right: People line up to receive a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Mumbai, India on Tuesday.
Altaf Qadri, AP | PUNIT PARANJPE, AFP via Getty Images
Relatives and municipal workers in protective gear bury the body of a person who died due to COVID-19 in Gauhati, India, Sunday, April 25, 2021.

Relatives and municipal workers in protective gear bury the body of a person who died due to COVID-19 in Gauhati, India, Sunday, April 25, 2021.
Anupam Nath, AP

Top: A relative of a person who died of COVID-19 is consoled by another during cremation in Jammu, India, Sunday, April 25, 2021. Delhi has been cremating so many bodies of coronavirus victims that authorities are getting requests to start cutting down trees in city parks, as a second record surge has brought India’s tattered healthcare system to its knees. | Bottom: A relative of a person who died of COVID-19 reacts at a crematorium in Jammu, India, on April 25, 2021.
Top: A relative of a person who died of COVID-19 is consoled by another during cremation in Jammu, India, Sunday, April 25, 2021. Delhi has been cremating so many bodies of coronavirus victims that authorities are getting requests to start cutting down trees in city parks, as a second record surge has brought India’s tattered healthcare system to its knees. | Bottom: A relative of a person who died of COVID-19 reacts at a crematorium in Jammu, India, on April 25, 2021.
Left: A relative of a person who died of COVID-19 is consoled by another during cremation in Jammu, India, Sunday, April 25, 2021. Delhi has been cremating so many bodies of coronavirus victims that authorities are getting requests to start cutting down trees in city parks, as a second record surge has brought India’s tattered healthcare system to its knees. | Right: A relative of a person who died of COVID-19 reacts at a crematorium in Jammu, India, on April 25, 2021.
Channi Anand, AP
People stand near bodies of COVID-19 victims lined up before cremation at a mass cremation site in New Delhi, India on Wednesday.

People stand near bodies of COVID-19 victims lined up before cremation at a mass cremation site in New Delhi, India on Wednesday.
MONEY SHARMA, AFP via Getty Images

Top: Relatives arrive with a COVID-19 patient at a dedicated coronavirus government hospital in Ahmedabad, India, on April 27, 2021. Cases in India are surging faster than anywhere else in the world. | Bottom: Health workers wearing personal protective equipment attend to COVID-19 patients inside a banquet hall temporarily converted into a covid care center in New Delhi, India on Wednesday.
Top: Relatives arrive with a COVID-19 patient at a dedicated coronavirus government hospital in Ahmedabad, India, on April 27, 2021. Cases in India are surging faster than anywhere else in the world. | Bottom: Health workers wearing personal protective equipment attend to COVID-19 patients inside a banquet hall temporarily converted into a covid care center in New Delhi, India on Wednesday.
Left: Relatives arrive with a COVID-19 patient at a dedicated coronavirus government hospital in Ahmedabad, India, on April 27, 2021. Cases in India are surging faster than anywhere else in the world. | Right: Health workers wearing personal protective equipment attend to COVID-19 patients inside a banquet hall temporarily converted into a covid care center in New Delhi, India on Wednesday.
Ajit Solanki, AP | PRAKASH SINGH, AFP via Getty Images
Exhausted workers, who bring dead bodies for cremation, sit on the rear step of an ambulance inside a crematorium, in New Delhi, India, Saturday, April 24, 2021.

Exhausted workers, who bring dead bodies for cremation, sit on the rear step of an ambulance inside a crematorium, in New Delhi, India, Saturday, April 24, 2021.
Altaf Qadri, AP

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