Inside India’s desperate struggle against COVID-19 surge

ABC News’ Maggie Rulli reports from India on the country’s battle to contain the pandemic’s deadly toll.
8:53 | 05/12/21

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Transcript for Inside India’s desperate struggle against COVID-19 surge
While in America we try to incentivized people to get vaccinated in India were reminded daily that this room with thick pandemic is far from over today we saw bodies bodies washing up on India's fabled king and James River oxygen continues to be in short supply in hospitals and the crisis is showing no signs of letting up. Maggie ruling has been on the ground there now for several days and files this in depth report for us. This scenes are apocalyptic. There just isn't enough oxygen on the staff none of hospital but it. Crematorium or working in overdrive leading up the night sky. Hospitals are overflowing. Functions. The health care system in India has a horrible collapsed the world's second most populous countries facing catastrophic shortages as it's being battered by completed. The virus they were able to control relatively well last year. But now it's a different story. This disturbing video appearing on social media yesterday local authorities are investigating a video showing bodies floating in the Ganges River. Autopsy is are being carried out to determine if the people died from cove in nineteen. Outside of Delhi pictures of an empty handed ICU surfaced online last week. But no medical staff in sight families would frantically searching for loved ones only to find him dead after the hospital reportedly bring him out of oxygen. The administrator saying she ordered doctors and nurses to high. After staff were attacked by greeting their members will be performed beast widely circulated videos now being investigated by local authorities. Thought. Their grief turning into anger as people in India are enough linked to survive. Nearly 330000. New cases can close to 4000 deaths in the last day alone. Experts believe those numbers are drastically under reported and the real number could be five to ten times higher. Extreme circumstances call for extra lean responses. India's capital New Delhi locking down the team. Turning a vibrant bustling city to an eerie ghost town. This is the quiet as people say they have ever seen New Delhi this shopping malls normally packed in vibrant now. Completely locked down but in this city of nearly 22 million people it's nearly impossible for everyone to social distance and the economic tool of the country were most are living day today. Can also be deadly. The coolest India. The feeling of a billion DeMint. I didn't feel that there is a big figures. I'll duties. Of the nation. Ordinary people like surround it saying are stepping up to help others. He first comedians who was finishing up the night shift at this 24 hour makeshift clinic built outside a seat house of worship. He's not a medical professional but he's here helping patients in need comes under the broad. What I do want them voluntarily this is dangerous I'm hair does and I brought my government for the auction. So I saw this again. She'd. Laws in the state was involved in the low fifty so volatility give all season so she went back of the so Bennett a turnaround among I assured commune. Yes a former uncle daughter at home that he hasn't seen in the month because he's been here sometimes under a hundred degree heat. Caring for the sick. And I feel incredibly difficult you're of a volunteer understand your you're watching people diet you how do you keep coming back every. It's vibrant part TD in the garden we've got billions in two people who the best. That's the best I can the best you got off. The head of the organization says he thinks surrounds it and the other volunteers they managed to save twelve to 151000. Lives. It's an incredible and life saving achievement when hospitals are being overrun. Right now 90% of your patient in the hospital or public basis after an incredible honor. For the hospital lot of people who have heavily a lot of bases 100%. That these magnificent Nissan under the heading to send cards that we had an indication. Stories of sacrifice for everywhere. We need a newly married couple who were supposed to be on their honeymoon instead they left home to come volunteer at this makeshift clinic just outside the capital. This an exception BS evening and much more than us at difference with nothing but one spare change of clothes and he fearless desire to help others. They spent nearly every waking moment these past three weeks on the front lines. And in New Delhi magical mark the taxi driver he's turned his vehicle into a makeshift ambulance cabs even equipped with an oxygen tank. Took more tells us he drives people to the hospital for free have limited. Governor Otto and the threat now economically dangerous I asked a supermarket was scared he's only of course he's scared but if he doesn't do this who well it. He doesn't step in and volunteer. More people are going to die. Volunteers are providing urgent and much needed help. But experts agree the key to fixing India's crisis. These vaccines India's the world's largest vaccine maker that has been distributing Coke would vaccines around the world they struggled to administer enough doses to stem their own deadly way. I flies. Correct me. I've added I have replied but mostly only about 3% of India's population has been fully vaccinated nearly 10% with at least one dose. This lag in vaccinations here translates into even very real human tolls. We meet Sunday at the crematorium was there to give his mother her last rights. He tells us she passed away just hours after he finally found her a hospital bed. In what he's left twist it's a feeling of hopelessness. Eluding. Number one. So did many sad and then I I think this not only when the F gazed at me I think everybody had been. I'm the same same type of being. This coming. In Vietnam blind spot beneath. Anonymous demanded I don't nothing and that cold tonight and I need the patriots Rudolph again. And he collapsed leaving that it maybe enough for them. On this crackled fire from the crematorium is rising above the cityscape. Sign that India has a ways to go before they turn this week around. Those fires just so symbolic of the extent of the crisis they are many ruling joins us now. And Maggie you reported on this pandemic from Japan and across Europe how a situation in India different from what you've seen previously. Palin the innocence so striking covering this from around the world does that everywhere you go one of these outbreaks happen his sister. A collective sense of severe weather was the first wave second or third wave ever went. Is scared of this virus hasn't seen what it can do. And we are in Japan when this first started it was unknown then we are terrified of it now we know how to handle this we know what's coming our way we've been dealing with us for a year and a half it was also. Senior what we can do so you real people you know what to expect they know how to protect themselves it's still scary. And that's what it feels like right now again we're seeing that same collective fear. With a different this time though envious at law it is scary and there are so someone knows me knows so much more about this virus and what to do to protect ourselves and it's an amazing in the city of twenty million people having a pressing one Lindsay not wearing a mask. Everyone inside and outside of matched up right now they are taking this seriously. Especially after seeing those scenes of chaos. From just the past week I was no exaggeration to say that this health care system really was pushed past the breaking point is focused on many health care workers have access to what it was like inside their hospitals of people just. Laying on the floor it ever does no space in some way to heartbroken because. If that if they had to say it could save more lives but. Lindsey again another similarity across the world he sought in America as well as health care workers stepping aide who spoke with 1%. He was so exhausted he hadn't really slept in three weeks. He was showing up every single day to care for this patient as stories like those that are so inspiring stories like the volunteers we just signing. I am so moved by the people we've met here Lindsay and again we've seen a people that stepped in to help total strangers help their community. We've seen people providing oxygen a sleeping on the floor of the clinic for their providing how these are the stories that you want to remember to right now because while there is. Has so much heartbreak and chaos Lindsay there's still has so much hope in many doctors here do say at least in New Delhi they seem to be at that he. There are getting more supplies they're learning how to manage the second wave. There is a little bit of hope in the air a little bit for try to hold on to that tonight and that's really hope it continues going forward for him. Right despite that palpable fear the community stepping up stepping in to help mega ruling. Our thanks to you stay safe.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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