India World

India records 115k daily coronavirus infections as states impose stricter restrictions

India on Wednesday reported a record 115,736 new coronavirus infections, taking the total to more than 12.8 million cases, government data showed.

The death toll in the world’s third-worst-hit nation after the United States and Brazil reached 166,177, including 630 new fatalities, the most in four days.

On Monday, India reported more than 100,000 cases for the first time since the pandemic began last year. Nearly 97,000 cases were registered on Tuesday.

With cases continuing to surge in many parts of the country, authorities have announced strict restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.

On Tuesday, the capital New Delhi imposed a night curfew from 10pm to 5am until April 30, with only essential services or people travelling to and from vaccination centres allowed on the streets.

The Delhi regional government said the “sudden increase in COVID-19 cases” and “high positivity rate” meant a night curfew was needed.

Maharashtra state, home to India’s financial hub Mumbai, has also introduced similar restrictions, including night curfews and a weekend lockdown.

The state on Wednesday reported more than 55,000 new coronavirus cases, almost half of the total cases reported.

On Wednesday, lockdown was announced for Chhattisgarh’s Raipur district from April 9 to April 19. During the lockdown period, the border of the district will be completely sealed and all shops, including those selling liquor, and commercial establishments will remain closed except medical stores.

The state of Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and union territory of Chandigarh announced night restrictions.

Swimming pools, gymnasium, party halls in apartment/residential complexes were ordered to shut down in the city of Bengaluru.

“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!”

The Indian government has so far shied away from a repeat of the nationwide restrictions imposed in March last year as it seeks to revive the country’s devastated economy.

Vinod K Paul, a member of the government advisory body NITI Aayog, said late on Tuesday during a health briefing that the next four weeks would be very critical for the country.

Single-day infections have been rising since early February, when they had fallen to below 9,000.

The country has recorded more than 549,000 cases in the last seven days, an increase of 40 percent compared with the previous week, according to data compiled by the AFP news agency.

Brazil recorded just under 440,000 cases and the US reported just over 453,000, both decreasing from the previous week.