Over 57,000 positive cases were reported from Maharashtra alone, a new record for the state that has now imposed a weekend lockdown, as the national tally crossed 1.01 lakh, according to latest reports available - a few states like Odisha and Telangana report their numbers the next morning.
MUMBAI - India on Monday recorded its biggest daily jump in coronavirus infections, joining only a handful of countries, including the United States, to cross the threshold of 100,000 new cases in a single day.
Fatalities rose by 478, raising the country's death toll to 165,101.
Infections had receded in India for several months but started to rise again in late February. More than 93,000 new cases of Corona have been reported in the country.
The variant, described by officials as a "double mutant", had been found in more than 200 samples in the hardest-hit western state of Maharashtra, which is home to India's financial capital of Mumbai.
But in most of India, shops, factories, and even cinemas remain open. Authorities will also impose a complete lockdown at weekends, as experts anxious about a shortage of critical-care beds in hospitals, especially in its smaller cities.
Experts say the surge is blamed in part on growing disregard for social distancing and mask-wearing in public spaces, including public gatherings.
Experts say India's second wave is being fuelled by people being less cautious - and mixed messaging by the government.
Modi's government has also allowed a huge month long Hindu festival to go ahead on the banks of the Ganges River in northern Uttarakhand state.
Though cases have risen exponentially in almost a dozen states, politicians and ministers are still addressing election rallies attended by tens of thousands of mask-less people jostling for space.
About 75 million citizens have been vaccinated so far in the country of 1.3 billion people.
More than 76 million Indians have received at least one shot, but only 9.5 million of them have received both. The second phase started on March 1 where doses were administered to people above the age of 60 and those between 45 and 59 years with specific comorbidities. India started its vaccination drive on January 16 with priority given to all healthcare and frontline workers in the first phase.
Amid rising Covid-19 cases, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a high-level meeting on Sunday to take stock of the situation and directed the States and districts reporting higher number of cases to continue with the mission-mode approach so that the collective gains of the pandemic management over the last 15 months are not squandered away.