India has been experiencing a record increase in the daily count of coronavirus cases for a second consecutive day, logging 97,570 new infections on Saturday, data from the federal health ministry showed.
With total cases of over 4.65 million, India is the second-worst affected country, trailing only the US, which has not less than 6.4 million cases. But the increasing infections in India are much faster than anywhere else around the world, as cases surge through urban and rural areas.
The Indian state of Maharashtra has been badly hit with the pandemic with total confirmed cases breaching the 1 million mark late on Friday, making it the only state or province anywhere around the world to cross that mark.
If this state, which is India’s richest, were a country, it might rival Russia for the fourth-highest number of coronavirus cases globally.
The experts and government officials said that the unexpected rise in cases in Maharashtra is the result of increased economic activity, local festivals, and lockdown fatigue.
“I am so disappointed with the pandemic situation in India,” Bhramar Mukherjee, a professor of biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of Michigan, who has been tracking India’s COVID situation closely, said on Twitter.
“It is getting worse and worse each week but a large part of the nation seems to have made the choice to ignore this crisis,” she said.