India has reported a record rise in coronavirus infections, becoming only the second country after the United States to register more than 100,000 new cases in a day, as hospitals in its worst affected state are overrun by patients.
India’s daily COVID-19 cases soared by 103,558 on Monday, the biggest such daily increase, data from the health ministry showed, taking the total to 12.59 million.
The country added 478 new deaths, raising the total to 165,101.
Deaths jumped by 478, still one of the lowest fatality rates in the world, raising the total to 165,101.
India has recorded the most number of infections in the past week anywhere in the world.
The country’s daily infections have leapt about 12 fold since hitting a multi-month low in early February, when authorities eased most restrictions and people largely stopped wearing masks and following social distancing.
More infectious variants of the virus may have also played a role in the second surge, some epidemiologists say.
India reported over 90,000 cases every day in September last year, when it hit 97,894 cases in mid-September, after which infections came down sharply, only to rise again starting late February as the economy reopened fully and new virus mutants spread
The western state of Maharashtra, home to India’s financial capital, Mumbai, reported a record 57,074 new cases overnight.
The Maharashtra government on Sunday announced new restrictions, including a night curfew and a weekend lockdown, to prevent the further spread of the virus.
The state will start shutting shopping malls, cinemas, bars, restaurants and places of worship from Monday evening.
Authorities will also impose a complete lockdown at weekends, as experts worried about a shortage of critical-care beds in hospitals, especially in its smaller cities.❐