India’s COVID-19 cases soar to new daily high
Country's total number of infections nears 14M
India set a new daily high for coronavirus cases Wednesday, recording more than 184,000 new infections in the past 24 hours, according to official figures.
According to the Health Ministry, 184,372 new cases were registered, taking to the country’s total to 13.87 million, while the death toll stood at 172,085, including an additional 1,027 fatalities.
There has been a massive increase in daily cases in India in the last few weeks. With the situation continuing to deteriorate, many cities in the country have announced restrictions to curb the spread of the disease.
India earlier this month recorded over 100,000 cases for the first time since the pandemic began last year. In September, the country reached an all-time high of 98,000 cases, but then cases began to decline until the end of January, when they again started to increase.
On Tuesday evening, the western state of Maharashtra announced tough restrictions for the next 15 days, informing residents that only essential activities would be allowed during the period.
With cases continuing to rise, India on Tuesday gave emergency use authorization for Russia's Sputnik V vaccine. The government also announced that it has decided to fast track approvals for foreign vaccines that have been given emergency use authorization by renowned drug regulators abroad.
India this week surpassed Brazil to become the second most affected country globally again in terms of cases after the US.
Despite a massive surge in cases, tens of thousands of people have gathered in northern Uttarakhand state for the auspicious bathing day of Shahi Snan during the Kumbh Mela Hindu religious festival on Wednesday.
The country launched its vaccination drive on Jan. 16 this year. According to official figures, over 100 million vaccine doses have been administered so far.
Health experts in India have warned of a serious situation if the number of cases is not controlled immediately.
"The situation is very serious at the moment. I think tough decisions are required to stop the spread," North India based Digambar Behera, a pulmonologist, told Anadolu Agency.
"On the ground, we see that people don't take precautions like wearing a mask and other measures. It [cases] needs to be immediately controlled. Otherwise, the situation is going to be worse."