According to data from the health ministry, India announced a staggering 115,736 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, bringing the number to more than 12.8 million cases.
After the United States and Brazil, the death toll in the world’s third-worst-hit nation reached 166,177, including 630 new deaths, the most in four days.
For the first time since the pandemic started last year, India registered more than 100,000 cases on Monday. On Tuesday, nearly 97,000 cases were filed.
Authorities have announced strict restrictions to stem the spread of the virus, as cases continue to rise in many parts of the world.
New Delhi’s capital enforced a night curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Tuesday, with only emergency facilities and people traveling to and from vaccination centers permitted on the streets until April 30.
The Delhi regional government stated that a night curfew was needed due to the “sudden increase in COVID-19 cases” and “high positivity rate.”
Similar restrictions have been imposed in Maharashtra, home to India’s financial capital Mumbai, including night curfews and weekend lockdowns.
On Wednesday, the state announced more than 55,000 new coronavirus cases, accounting for nearly half of the total cases reported.
“The pandemic isn’t over and there is no scope for complacency,” Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Twitter, urging people to get “vaccinated on your turn and follow COVID-appropriate behaviour scrupulously!”
As it tries to revive the country’s battered economy, the Indian government has so far shied away from a repeat of the nationwide restrictions imposed in March last year – one of the world’s toughest lockdowns.
During a health briefing late Tuesday, Vinod K Paul, a member of the government advisory body NITI Aayog, said the next four weeks will be crucial for the country.
Since early February, when they were below 9,000, single-day infections have been on the rise.
According to data collected by the AFP news agency, the country has reported over 549,000 cases in the last seven days, a 40% rise over the previous week.
Brazil had just under 440,000 cases, while the United States had just over 453,000, both down from the previous week.
On Tuesday, India’s health ministry announced that more than 83 million vaccination shots had been given out as part of an ambitious plan to vaccinate 300 million people by the end of July.
In the meantime, Delhi has requested that one-third of all vaccination sites at government hospitals be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to speed up the vaccination process.
However, several states have chastised the federal government since India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, has limited its immunisation campaign to front-line staff and citizens over the age of 45.
Even for the prioritized classes, states like Odisha have reported supply shortages.