On Saturday, the authorities imposed a weekend lockdown in New Delhi and other major Indian cities as the country faces a new wave of COVID-19 cases, with more than 230,000 daily infections recorded as residents try to obtain medicines and hospital beds.
India has spent more than two million new infections this month, and Bangladesh and Pakistan have imposed lockdown measures on hopes that South Asia has managed to defeat the epidemic.
India recorded a new record number of infections on Saturday, amounting to 234,000, to exceed the total number of cases it has 14.5 million, while the total number of deaths rose to 175,649 after recording 1,341 new deaths from the virus within one day.
Although the rate of injuries relative to the population is still low compared to the figures recorded in other countries, the speed of the spread of the disease prompted the Red Cross to describe the high number of cases in South Asia as “really frightening”.
Today, India records three times more daily injuries than those reported in the United States, the most affected country in the world.
After a national lockdown imposed a year ago led to an economic downturn, the Indian government sought to avoid another. But New Delhi joined Bombay in issuing orders to close all non-essential businesses.
The city’s landmarks were deserted, like the Red Fort, where tens of thousands usually congregate. “Not a single person has come,” said goalkeeper Anil Dayan.
And the city, which has more than 20 million people, has the largest number of daily infections in India, and has closed all restaurants, shopping centers and gyms.
Maharashtra, which includes Bombay, Gujarat and Karnataka state, has also imposed restrictions on movement.
Uttar Pradesh, which has some 240 million people, ordered a one-day lockdown on Sunday.
In the state of Uttarakhand (north), restrictions were imposed on the gathering of more than two hundred people, except for those participating in the Kumbh Mela Hindu festival.
Nearly 25 million people participated in the festival that took place in Haridwar since January, of whom about 4.6 million participated this week alone, while most of them ignored the rules of containing Covid.
More than 1,600 people have been confirmed infected with the virus in Haridwar within three days this week, while experts fear that many of them will carry the virus with them to their towns and villages.
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