India’s biggest cities braced for stricter lockdowns and other Covid-19 curbs on Saturday after infections hit a six-month high, as a month-long surge continued in the country third worst hit by the pandemic.
India’s richest state, Maharashtra, accounted for more than half of the 89,129 new cases reported by the national health ministry in the last 24 hours, with a record 47,827 infections.
The state’s chief minister warned citizens of a lockdown if cases continued to rise at their current rate, saying medical infrastructure would be inadequate in a couple of weeks.
In the southern state of Karnataka, home to India’s tech capital, Bengaluru, authorities ordered gyms to be closed, barred functions at religious places and told cinema halls, bars, pubs and restaurants to limit the number of people allowed in.
India’s capital, Delhi, recorded more than 3,500 cases, its highest this year, but its chief minister ruled out another lockdown for now.
Daily coronavirus cases have surged from about 15,000 in early March to 88,000 or so at the start of April.
The south-Asian nation recorded 89,129 new infections and 714 deaths, the ministry said. That was the biggest daily rise since 20 September and the most deaths since 21 October, according to a Reuters tally.
India follows only the US and Brazil in infections, with more than 12 million recorded since the start of the outbreak.
The government has intensified its vaccination drive in recent weeks, but the shots have been slow to reach India’s 1.3 billion people.
The prime minister, Narendra Modi, has faced criticism for exporting vaccines produced in India when most Indians are yet to get them.
Sriwardane Sunday, 04 April 2021 11:14 AM
Big boasting from the Indians living in the West about their country’s Serum Institute producing AstraZeneca to the whole world ! Now , it looks Indians have not much vaccines even for their own use !. Contrast this with China, how brilliantly they have controlled the virus in their country while distributing Covid vaccines to half the world.
RoaringCreek Sunday, 04 April 2021 11:46 AM
India sell and China distributes. That is the difference and why.? The AstraZeneca vaccine is better than the Chinese vaccines. Simple logic. I am no support of India, I support good and reliable products.
Sri Lankan Sunday, 04 April 2021 11:21 AM
Hygiene is alien to most Indians, it is a filthy country.
Anand Gupta , Australia Sunday, 04 April 2021 12:40 PM
RoaringCreek,We Indians are living all over the world and promoting our country with honesty and pride. We don’t need a Sri Lankan drumming for us.
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