India set another daily record for new coronavirus infections Saturday as the country’s health-care system buckled under a rampaging outbreak that has left dire shortages of oxygen tanks, medicines and hospital beds.

Indian authorities said they are commandeering trains and using air force planes to speed up the distribution of medical supplies to hard-hit regions. Some of India’s crematories have been put out of service from overuse.

Many hospitals have suspended new admissions. In New Delhi, hospitals petitioned the city’s high court to compel authorities to ensure oxygen deliveries.

India reported 346,786 new cases — including 2,624 deaths — the third consecutive day of record-breaking infections, even as other parts of the world, including the United States and Europe, expand vaccinations and look ahead to further easing pandemic restrictions.

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“Urgent sos help,” Moolchand Healthcare, a private hospital chain, tweeted in a message to India’s government Saturday. “We have less than 2 hours of oxygen supply @Moolchand_Hosp. We are desperate. . . . Have over 135 COVID pt [patients] with many on life support.”

It was already too late at another hospital in New Delhi. At least 20 critically ill patients died late Friday at the Jaipur Golden Hospital after a seven-hour delay in oxygen delivery, according to medical director DK Baluja.

“Everything we had was exhausted,” Baluja told CNN. “The oxygen was not supplied on time. It was supposed to come in at 5 p.m. but it came around midnight.”

The hospital’s oxygen supply was close to running out again, Baluja said.

Fortis Healthcare, a major Indian health-care chain, said Saturday it could take in no new patients in New Delhi, Reuters reported.

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India’s sudden exponential surge, driven in part by highly transmissible variants of the coronavirus, has caught the country entirely off guard.

At the start of the year, daily new coronavirus cases had dropped to fewer than 20,000. Emboldened by the decline, the government reopened public places and permitted crowded election rallies and religious ceremonies.

In March, India’s health minister, Harsh Vardhan, said the country was near the pandemic’s “endgame.” The government began increasing exports of medical resources, including oxygen tanks and coronavirus vaccines.

By mid-April, infections in India were rising so fast that everything from coronavirus tests to ventilators were suddenly in short supply. On Friday, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders said it had restarted its emergency response in Mumbai.

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Scientists do not yet know how much variants are driving India’s latest wave. But anger at Prime Minister Narendra Modi is growing over his decision to allow rallies and festivals that played well with his political base despite the superspreader potential.

Indian media reported Saturday that Twitter had complied with Modi’s request to censor at least 52 tweets in India, many of which were critical of the government’s handling of the pandemic.

India’s official per capita case numbers are still less than the United States’. But public health experts worry that India could be a harbinger for other countries that reopen too fast.

“We completely let down our guard and assumed in January that the pandemic was over — and covid surveillance and control took a back seat,” K. Srinath Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation of India, told National Geographic. “There were still a fairly large proportion of people in the big cities, but also in smaller cities and villages, who were not exposed to the virus last year, who were susceptible.”