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India tightens screws as COVID-19 infections hit new record

India’s worst-hit state ramped up its coronavirus restrictions as daily infections soared over the weekend, exceeding 100,000 for the first time.

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

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

In India, hopes at the start of the year that the outbreak may be subsiding in the vast nation of 1.3 billion people 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 and entertainment capital 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 8:00 pm to 7:00 am.

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

Over the weekend, one of Bollywood’s biggest stars, Akshay Kumar, became Mumbai’s latest celebrity to test positive.

On Monday, the shooting of the religious epic “Ram Setu” that Kumar was making halted after 45 crew members tested positive.

“How long the shooting remains halted depends on Akshay Kumar’s recovery. We can replace all our crew members, but we cannot replace the film star,” Ashok Dubey from the Federation of Western India Cine Employees told AFP.

Meanwhile, Kumar, 53, tweeted that he had been hospitalized “as a precautionary measure under medical advice”.

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

Modi chaired a high-level meeting on Sunday, 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.”

The chief minister has ruled out a new lockdown in New Delhi’s capital despite the case surge. Police say they are issuing more fines to people not wearing masks.

“The fear of COVID-19 has gone away. Most people don’t wear masks properly, including many of my passengers,” autorickshaw driver Surjit Singh, 68, told AFP.

Rajesh Mohan Bindlish, 34, a bank executive in Noida outside the capital, said that police should be stricter but that the government should avoid another lockdown.

“The economy will be hit very hard, and it won’t be good for all of us. We can’t afford to disrupt our economic recovery as so many jobs depend on it,” Bindlish told AFP.

“The cases have risen because the people outside became too lax about the situation. If fines are increased, and there is strictness in their implementation, things will improve,” he said.

India has so far administered almost 80 million vaccine shots. Last week, it opened vaccinations to all over 45 years old to speed up its flagging national inoculation drive.

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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