India reports record surge in coronavirus cases

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Coronavirus in India
A health worker takes a nasal swab sample of a woman at an urban health centre in Ahmedabad, India

New coronavirus cases in India have hit a daily record of 126,789.

The figure came as Prime Minister Narendra Modi got his second vaccine dose and urged others to follow suit, saying “vaccination is among the few ways we have to defeat the virus”.

India started its vaccination drive in January.

So far, more than 90 million health workers and those aged over 45 have received at least one dose.

Only 11 million have received both doses as India tries to build immunity to protect its nearly 1.4 billion people.

Dozens of cities and towns are imposing night curfews to try to contain the surge but the federal government has refused to impose a second nationwide lockdown for fear of hurting the economy.

Fatalities rose by 685 in the past 24 hours, the highest since November.

The western state of Maharashtra, the worst hit in the country, accounted for nearly 47% of new infections.

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