People sit in a waiting area to receive a dose of COVISHIELD at a vaccination centre in Ahmedabad, India. Reuters
India’s daily coronavirus infections hit another record on Saturday for the highest tally since September, while daily deaths reached a five-month high, a Reuters count based on data from the health ministry showed.
The south Asian nation recorded 89,129 new infections and 714 deaths, the ministry said. That was the biggest single-day rise since Sept.20 last year and the most deaths since Oct.21, according to a Reuters tally.
Infections have surged in India since the beginning of March, with its richest state of Maharashtra, home to the financial capital of Mumbai, the worst hit.
Late on Friday, the state’s chief minister warned of a full lockdown to curb infections if people did not limit their movements.
A year ago, India had observed what Prime Minister Narendra Modi called a people’s curfew, marking the start of a chaotic nationwide lockdown in a bid to contain the virus. With 11.6 million cases, India is now the worst-affected country after the United States and Brazil.
Deaths were at their highest since mid-December, according to a Reuters tally, with 354 people dying of the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, the ministry said, taking total mortalities to 162,468.
India’s overall caseload of 12.04 million - the world’s biggest outside the United States and Brazil - had been falling steadily since a peak in late September, but increased public gatherings and travel are causing a spurt at a time when a majority of Indians are yet to be vaccinated.
The country’s tally dipped below the 60,000 mark after three days, a Reuters tally showed, with its richest state, Maharashtra, accounting for more than 31,000 of the 56,211 cases reported in the last 24 hours. Deaths in the last 24 hours stood at 271,
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