India set another daily global record of new cases Saturday, with more than 400,000 new cases and 3,500 deaths, according to official totals experts suspect are undercounts.

Iran PressAsia: The nation reported a record high of 401,993 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. No other country has breached 400,000 daily cases.

With oxygen in short supply at medical facilities, patients are gasping for breath, and their families – overwhelmed by grief and helplessness – are running frantically to obtain oxygen themselves. 

On Saturday, 12 people, including a doctor, reportedly died at a hospital in India's capital city after the facility ran out of medical oxygen. And in western India, 18 patients died and 31 others rescued in a fire in a COVID-19 hospital ward.

The surge "will get worse before it gets better," according to one public-health expert.

India also reported more than 3,500 deaths on Saturday - the fourth day in a row that death counts have surpassed 3,000. Those numbers are likely an undercount.

Experts interviewed by Reuters have suggested the death toll could even be between five to 10 times higher than what is being reported. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not responded to the allegations.

"It will get worse before it gets better," Ashish Jha, a physician and Dean of Brown University's School of Public Health, said of India's outbreak on Twitter on Saturday.

Rapidly spreading coronavirus variants are perhaps the biggest culprit for India's horrific new surge. But a number of other factors also contributed to their spread: massive social gatherings, a slow vaccine rollout, and a healthcare system that was woefully unprepared for the influx of patients.

The US, which earlier this week pledged to help India produce more vaccines, imposed new travel restrictions on the country because of the coronavirus surge. Friday's move temporarily bars most non-US citizens from entering the United States.