A health worker collects a nasal swab sample from a woman at a primary health centre in Hyderabad. AFP
Leading hospitals in India's most coronavirus-hit state halted vaccinations on Saturday, citing shortages as infections across the country crossed 13 million and set a new daily record.
The nation of 1.3 billion is confronting a ferocious second wave that has triggered its fastest infection rate since the pandemic began, with 145,384 cases recorded in the past 24 hours.
Fresh lockdowns and curfews were imposed on tens of millions of people from India to Argentina on Saturday, as COVID-19 infections surged again and vaccine roll-outs were hampered by shortages and scares over side effects.
A woman leaves after receiving her second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Mumbai, India, on Friday. AP
In India, the worst-hit state of Maharashtra was running out of vaccines as the health system buckled under the weight of the contagion, which has killed 2.9 million people worldwide.
Deaths rose by 794 to a total of 168,436, health ministry data showed, according to Reuters.
India's overall case load has swelled to 13.21 million, the third-highest globally, behind the United States and Brazil. India has reported the most number of cases in the world in the past week, breaching the 100,000 mark for the first time on Monday and four times after that.
The government blames the resurgence mainly on crowding and a reluctance to wear masks as businesses have nearly fully reopened since February, only to be partially shut again to control the current surge.
Commuters are pictured on a partially deserted road during a night curfew in Mumbai on Friday. AFP
Maharashtra, the Indian state with the most cases, has already shut down restaurants, malls and places of worship and barred the movement of most people to control the outbreak that has threatened to overrun medical facilities and created vaccine shortages, officials said. Its weekend lockdown will end on early Monday.
In India's financial capital Mumbai, hundreds of poor migrant workers crammed onto trains this week to flee the city, potentially risking a wider outbreak in smaller towns and villages.
The railways department denied people were fleeing cities because of the surge, calling it a usual rush this time of year because of holidays and as workers move to harvest crops.Many states, meanwhile, have complained of a shortage of vaccines.
The tally of infections stood at al 28.69 million and the death toll at 344,082, data from the federal health ministry showed. The fatalities witnessed a spike, crossing 3,000 mark on Saturday once again after recording over 2,000 deaths in the last two days.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to extend a nationwide lockdown to tackle the spread of the coronavirus, the Delhi state's chief minister said on Saturday, without saying how long the extension would be for.
India is leaving behind the worst financial year in the years of Independence. Since the colonial period, the financial year has run from April 1 to March 31 of the following calendar year. On March 25 last year, a week before end of the 2019-20 financial
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