India’s biggest cities braced for stricter lockdowns and other COVID-19 curbs on Saturday as infections hit a six-month high, as a month-long surge continued in the country third-worst hit by the pandemic.
Maharashtra accounted for more than half of the 89,129 new cases reported by the national health ministry in the last 24 hours, with a record 47,827 infections.
The state’s chief minister warned citizens of a lockdown if cases continued to rise at their current rate, saying medical infrastructure would be inadequate in a couple of weeks.
Authorities in Karnataka, which is home to the country’s tech capital Bengaluru, ordered gyms to be closed, barred functions at religious places, and told cinema halls, bars, pubs, and restaurants to limit the number of people allowed in.
New Delhi recorded more than 3,500 cases, its highest this year, but its chief minister ruled out another lockdown for now.
Daily coronavirus cases have surged from around 15,000 in early March to approx. 88,000 at the start of April.
India recorded 89,129 new infections and 714 deaths, the ministry said. That was the biggest daily rise since September 20 and the most deaths since October 21.