NEW DELHI • Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat became the latest to tighten coronavirus curbs yesterday as India's infections surged to a record of almost 116,000 new cases in 24 hours.
Experts blamed the country's fresh wave on people ignoring guidelines and attending huge religious and political events, as well as weddings and cricket matches in recent months.
India has recorded 12.8 million cases, the third-highest behind the United States and Brazil, although those nations have much smaller populations. More than 166,000 Indians have died.
Maharashtra, the worst-hit state and home to megacity Mumbai, has imposed a night curfew and weekend lockdowns are due to begin tomorrow evening. New Delhi imposed night curfews from Tuesday.
Press reports said hospitals were starting to suffer, particularly those in Maharashtra. One Pune clinic was reportedly giving oxygen support to patients in a makeshift waiting area.
Meanwhile, the High Court in Delhi yesterday ruled that it was compulsory to wear a mask in a vehicle even when driving alone.
The court described cars as a "public place". The court's order came on a petition involving fines.
"Even if you are alone in the car, why object to wearing a mask? It is for your own safety," the court said.
"The pandemic crisis has increased. Whether a person is vaccinated or not, he should wear a mask."
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, XINHUA