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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - NEW DELHI — India on Monday saw 68,020 new coronavirus cases in a span of 24 hours, the highest single-day rise so far this year.
The surge comes as Indians mark the festival of Holi, a celebration of colors, on Monday. Several states have banned public gatherings and the health ministry has asked citizens to celebrate with their family as opposed to venturing outdoors.
India has so far recorded more than 12 million cases of COVID-19. At least 161,843 people have died, according to official data.
India has been reporting a spike in cases — above the 60,000 mark — for three consecutive days, though Monday’s rise was still below September’s peak of more than 90,000 cases a day.
The total number of cases since the epidemic began a year ago crossed the 12 million mark, making India the hardest hit country outside the United States and Brazil.
The western state of Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit, reporting 40,414 new COVID-19 cases and 108 related deaths in the last 24 hours. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday instructed senior officials of the health department and the COVID-19 task force to prepare for lockdown as people in the state continue to violate COVID-19 protocols.
Meanwhile, Delhi's Health Minister Satyendar Jain has said that a second coronavirus lockdown in the national capital is “not a solution”.
“As of now, there is no possibility of another lockdown. We had tried it earlier with not much success. Experts had said that due to its 14-day cycle (of the infection), a 21-day lockdown would stop the spread of the virus but that did not happen. So for me, lockdown is no solution,” Jain had said on Saturday.
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