BENGALURU (REUTERS) - India's daily coronavirus infections jumped by 28,903 on Wednesday (March 17), data from the Health Ministry showed, for the highest increase since Dec 13, taking the nationwide tally to 11.44 million.
Deaths rose by 188, the highest figure in two months, to stand at 159,044.
India has the world's highest tally of infections after the United States and Brazil.
Nearly 62 per cent of infections in the past 24 hours and 46 per cent of the deaths were reported by the western state of Maharashtra, the country's worst affected.
The federal government has blamed crowding and a general reluctance to wear masks for the spike, ruling out the virus mutations that have been a factor in Western countries.
Maharashtra, home to India's commercial capital, Mumbai, is among the states that have already tightened rules to curb the spread of the virus.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will discuss the rise in cases in a video conference with state chief ministers later on Wednesday.