India reported a record daily surge in new coronavirus cases for the second time in four days yesterdayday, while New Delhi, Mumbai and dozens of other cities announced they are imposing curfews to try to slow the soaring infections.
The rise of 115,736 coronavirus cases reported yesterday comes as Jacinda Ardern today announced a temporary suspension of travellers to New Zealand from India.
It tops the 103,844 infections reported Monday.
Experts say the surge, which is worse than last year's peak in mid-September, is due in part to growing disregard for social distancing and mask-wearing in public spaces.
In Prayagraj in northern India, Ram Singh, a doctor in charge of a Covid-19 testing centre, also cited lack of adherence to social distancing and other safety measures by the public as reason for the surge.
Fatalities rose by 630 in the past 24 hours, the highest since November, driving the total death toll in the country to 166,177 since the pandemic began.
The federal government has so far refused to impose a nationwide lockdown to contain the latest surge but has asked states to decide on imposing local restrictions.
India now has a seven-day rolling average of more than 78,000 cases per day and has reported 12.8 million virus cases since the pandemic began, the highest after the United States and Brazil.
While 85 million Indians have received at least one coronavirus vaccine shot, only 11 million of them have received both.
Due to the surge in infections, India has now delayed exports of large quantities of vaccines.
It has shipped 64.5 million doses so far.