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India’s coronavirus count swelled by more than 200,000 on Thursday, stretching its healthcare systems, even as the country fought back with curbs, curfews and vaccines.

Delhi clocked a record 17,282 new cases, prompting the administration to shut malls, gyms, swimming pools and auditoriums, and limit cinema halls’ capacity at 30%. The government also prohibited dining at restaurants and imposed a weekend curfew. According to a government order, weekly markets will be monitored, and only one market will be allowed in any zone on a day. Markets and public places will also see a stricter implementation of covid-19 norms.

“Our understanding is that people need to travel during weekdays for work and other essential activities; however, weekends are usually reserved for leisure and entertainment activities—activities that in the given situation can be curtailed and restricted," chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said.

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The Delhi government has noticed a callous attitude among people in terms of wearing masks and observing social distancing, he said, adding that the state will implement these regulations strictly.

Uttar Pradesh extended night curfew hours from 8pm to 7am in Noida, Lucknow, Varanasi, Prayagraj, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Kanpur Nagar and Gorakhpur districts, which have over 2,000 active cases.

India’s daily count of covid-19 cases touched 200,739 on Wednesday, led by 10 states—Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Rajasthan—which have reported over 81% of new cases.

Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 58,952, followed by Uttar Pradesh (20,439) and Delhi (17,282). Rajasthan also decided to impose a night curfew from 6pm to 5am across the entire state from 16 April, which was earlier only in 10 urban areas.

Kerala health minister K.K. Shailaja on Thursday warned of possible lockdowns in places seeing a surge. After an emergency meeting convened by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the government ordered tighter curbs in containment zones, prior approvals for wedding, housewarming and other public gatherings, mandatory covid-negative certificate to enter malls and markets, and high alert at tuition centres.

Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala cumulatively account for 67% of India’s total active cases. Maharashtra alone accounts for 44% of the total active caseload of the country. Further, India’s national covid recovery rate has slipped to 88% from almost 99% at one time. India also reported 1,038 deaths in the past 24 hours. Ten states account for 82% of the new deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (278). Chhattisgarh follows with 120 daily deaths. Odisha announced a night curfew across the state.

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