India’s tally of coronavirus infections stood at 7.31 million on Thursday, having risen by 67,708 in the last 24 hours, Health Ministry data showed.
Deaths from COVID-19 infections rose by 680 to 111,266, the Ministry said.
India crossed the 7 million mark on Sunday, adding a million cases in just 13 days. It has the world’s second-highest tally after the United States, where the figure is nearing 8 million.
Most European governments eased lockdowns over the summer to start reviving economies already battered by the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
But the return of normal activity – from packed restaurants to new university terms – fuelled a sharp spike in cases all over the continent.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she and leaders of Germany’s 16 states agreed on Wednesday on tougher measures without detailing them. “We are already in a phase of exponential growth, the daily numbers show that,” she said.
Bars and pubs were among the first to shut or face earlier closing in the new lockdowns, but now the surging infection rates are also testing governments’ resolve to keep schools and non-COVID medical care going.
Even Pope Francis was subject to new coronavirus rules, staying put at a safe distance from well-wishers at his weekly audience on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin described Northern Ireland’s rise in cases as “hugely worrying,” and the government increased restrictions in three counties on the border as well as almost all visits to homes across the country.
“We are on the brink of disaster,” immunologist Pawel Grzesiowski said in Poland, which reported a record 6,526 infections and 116 deaths on Wednesday.
Efforts to develop a vaccine hit snags in some areas, with Johnson & Johnson pausing its trial after an unexplained illness in a study participant. AstraZeneca’s U.S. trial has remained on hold for more than a month.
Russia, which saw a record daily increase in cases, has meanwhile granted regulatory approval to a second vaccine.