India’s coronavirus tally surged past the nine million mark on Friday after registering more than 45,000 new infections, health ministry data shows.
According to the health ministry update, in addition to exceeding nine million confirmed cases, some 584 deaths were registered in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 132,162.
India is currently witnessing a steady decline in cases from its peak in September, with the country reporting fewer than 50,000 daily new infections during the last 13 days.
The capital New Delhi is, however, witnessing an enormous increase in new cases.
Officials in New Delhi on Thursday quadrupled the fines to INR₹ 2,000 for people not wearing face masks, as the government came under an increased pressure to impose another lockdown.
The federal government has also constituted a high-level team to control COVID-19 in Haryana, Gujarat, Manipur and Rajasthan states.
India imposed one of the world’s strictest lockdowns in March, but the restrictions dealt a severe blow to the economy and the government has since eased them.
Few people wear masks – particularly outside large cities – and in recent weeks shoppers have thronged markets in preparations for a series of religious festivals.
Though new cases in India have dipped to less than half in recent weeks from a peak of 100,000 infections a day in September, authorities fear a surge in coming weeks.
The western city of Ahmadabad late on Thursday announced an indefinite night curfew after reporting an uptick in cases following the Diwali festival weekend. The major city in Gujarat state has recorded approximately 47,000 cases and close to 2,000 deaths.