India reports record daily jump in COVID-19 cases for second straight day

SAM PANTHAKY / AFP

India reported a record daily jump in coronavirus cases for a second consecutive day, logging 97,570 new infections on Saturday.

With total cases of more than 4.65 million, India is the world's second worst affected country, trailing only the United States, which has more than 6.4 million cases.

But the growth in infections in India is faster than anywhere else in the world, as cases surge through urban and rural areas.

The western state of Maharashtra has been particularly hard-hit, with total confirmed cases breaching the 1 million mark late on Friday, making it the first state or province anywhere in the world to cross that mark.

If the state, which is India's richest, were a country, it would rival Russia for the fourth highest number of coronavirus cases globally.

Government officials and experts said the unabated rise in cases in Maharashtra and other parts of the country were likely a result of economic activity re-starting, 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. 

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