On Monday, the health ministry recorded 366,161 new infections and 3,754 deaths, slightly lower than regular highs. The total number of covid-19 cases in India is now 22.66 million, with 246,116 deaths.
As new coronavirus cases and deaths near-record levels, India is expected to go for a nationwide lockdown.
Experts say India’s real numbers may be way higher than reported, as many hospitals struggle with a severe lack of oxygen and beds, and morgues and crematoriums overflow.
According to data from the state-run Indian Council of Medical Research, the 1.47 million samples screened for COVID-19 on Sunday were the lowest this month. In comparison, the first eight days of May saw a daily average of 1.7 million visitors.
India recorded the highest single-day COVID-19 death toll of 4,187 on Saturday. India is expected to see one million COVID-19 deaths by August, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
Over the last month, several states have enacted stringent lockdowns, although others have implemented travel restrictions and closed cinemas, bars, breweries, and shopping malls.
However, pressure is mounting on Modi to declare a national lockdown, as he did last year during the first round of infections.
He’s been chastised for allowing large crowds at a religious festival and holding major political protests in the last two months, despite an increase in incidents.
Meanwhile, India’s defense ministry announced that hundreds of retired army medics would be recruited to support the country’s overburdened healthcare system.
The ministry said in a news release on Sunday that 400 medical officers will be hired on a contract basis for a period of 11 months, and that other military doctors will be approached for online consultations.
On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top White House coronavirus adviser, said the Indian authorities should impose a complete shutdown.
“You’ve got to shut down. I believe several of the Indian states have already done that, but you need to break the chain of transmission. And one of the ways to do that is to shut down,” Fauci said.