India gets tough as virus cases hit a record high

AFP
India's worst-hit state ramped up its coronavirus restrictions as nationwide daily infections exceeded 100,000 for the first time on Monday.
AFP
India gets tough as virus cases hit a record high
AFP

Health workers wearing protective gear sort belongings and bags of patients inside the premises of a COVID-19 quarantine center following restrictions imposed by the state government amidst rising coronavirus cases in Mumbai on Monday.

India’s worst-hit state ramped up its coronavirus restrictions as nationwide daily infections exceeded 100,000 for the first time on Monday.

The United States is the only country that has regularly registered so many cases in one day. Brazil recorded triple digits once in March.

In India, hopes at the start of this year that the outbreak may be subsiding have been dashed in recent weeks as a fresh wave pushed the national total to 12.5 million infections and 165,000 deaths.

Maharashtra, the worst-hit state and home to India’s financial hub Mumbai, recorded nearly 60,000 cases in the last 24 hours.

Struggling state authorities on Sunday tightened the evening curfew to allow only people involved in essential services out of their homes from 8pm to 7am.

The region of 110 million people will also see weekend lockdowns, with gatherings of over four people banned and places of worship and restaurants shut.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is anxious to avoid imposing a new national lockdown after a shutdown in March 2020 caused human and economic misery.

Modi on Sunday chaired a high-level meeting and a statement afterward announced an awareness campaign from April 6-14 “with emphasis on 100-percent mask usage, personal hygiene and sanitation at public places/workplaces and health facilities.”

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