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Charred medical equipment inside a ward of the Patel Welfare Covid Hospital in Bharuch on May 1. Photo: Sam Panthaky/AFP via Getty Images

A fire in a COVID-19 ward in the Welfare Hospital in Bharuch, a town in Gujarat state in western India, killed at least 18 patients on Saturday, according to AP.

The big picture: The blaze — the cause of which is being investigated — comes on the heels of several tragedies involving coronavirus patients as hospitals across the country struggle with oxygen supplies amid a massive spike in new cases and a slowed vaccine rollout.

  • Eight COVID-19 patients also died Saturday at a hospital in New Delhi after the facility ran short of oxygen supplies, AP reports.

Context: A separate hospital fire in the city of Surat killed at least four patients on April 25, according to New Delhi Television.

  • An oxygen leak in a hospital in the western state of Maharashtra on April 25 stopped the flow of oxygen to critically ill coronavirus patients, killing more than 20 people, the New York Times writes.
  • Another fire in an ICU unit at a hospital on the outskirts of Mumbai on April 23 killed 13 coronavirus patients.

By the numbers: India reported 401,993 new coronavirus cases on Saturday and at least 3,523 new deaths over the past 24 hours, according to AP.

India's coronavirus surge is raising fears among medical experts that it may increase the risk of the virus mutating into a new variant, Axios' Tina Reed reports.

Go deeper ... Fauci: India should "temporarily shut down" amid COVID-19 rise

Go deeper

Aug 8, 2021 - Health

"The world needs a reality check," health expert warns as COVID surges

An Army officer administers the AstraZeneca vaccine to a Tunisian man at Oued Ellil high school in Manouba. Photo: Jdidi Wassim/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

As COVID-19 case numbers surge across the United States and globally due to highly contagious variants of the virus, experts warn that people are not learning the lessons of the pandemic, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Resistance to the measures that could tamper the virus' spread — masking, social distancing, and most importantly, vaccination — could draw out the length of the pandemic and keep a return to normal life at bay.

Aug 9, 2021 - Health

America's Delta data problem

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

America is increasingly reliant on data coming from other countries or from drug companies about the coronavirus vaccines' effectiveness over time, particularly when it comes to the Delta variant.

Between the lines: Top Biden officials are growing frustrated with the lack of internal visibility into data being collected by the CDC, particularly as they try to deal with Delta's spread.

Fauci: Covid vaccines could get full FDA approval in the "next few weeks"

NIAID director Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that he hopes the COVID-19 vaccines will receive full approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration "within the next few weeks."

Why it matters: Fauci's remarks on NBC's "Meet the Press" come at a pivotal point in the pandemic, as the Delta variant has caused coronavirus cases across the United States to balloon.