India’s total coronavirus cases rose by 66,732 in the last 24 hours to 7.12 million on Monday morning, data from the Health Ministry showed.
Deaths from COVID-19 infections rose by 816 to 109,150, the Ministry said.
India added a million cases in just 13 days and it has the second-highest number of infections, behind the United States, which is approaching the 8 million mark.
The southern state of Kerala, which won praise for its early handling of the coronavirus pandemic, on Saturday reported 11,755 new cases, the highest in the country.
Neighbouring Karnataka and its capital Bengaluru, where many software companies are based, has also been struggling to contain the spread of the virus.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, faced with a collapsing economy after imposing a tough lockdown to try to stem the spread of the virus in late March, is pushing ahead with a full opening of the country just before the festival season.
But India’s festival season, which climaxes in October and November with the popular Hindu celebrations of Dussehra and Diwali, poses additional challenges, as officials try to dampen the usual large public celebrations and cross-country travel.
Typically, the festival season brings a big increase in consumer spending, and the more sombre atmosphere this year will further dampen an economy that contracted by almost a quarter in the three months to June – the worst figure on record.
A few states such as Maharashtra and Gujarat have imposed restrictions on gathering during the nine-day Navratri festival due to begin on Oct. 17.
“Festival season is approaching. A little carelessness of people during festivals can worsen the situation,” Health Minister Harsh Vardhan told his social media followers in a broadcast on Sunday.
“There is no need to congregate in large numbers to prove your faith or your religion. If we do this, we may be heading for a big trouble,” Vardhan said.