Highest daily Covid cases shake India

India has recorded the highest one-day tally of new Covid-19 cases anywhere in the world — and the country’s highest number of deaths over 24 hours.

It has close to 16 million confirmed cases, second only to the US.

The country is struggling with a second wave, raising more fears about its overwhelmed health care system.

Crowds have formed outside hospitals in major cities which are filled to capacity. A number of people have died while waiting for oxygen.

Families are waiting hours to perform funeral rites, Reuters news agency reports, with at least one Delhi crematorium resorting to building pyres in its car park in order to cope with the numbers arriving.

Meanwhile, some countries are bringing in stricter rules affecting travel to and from India amid fears over the rising cases.

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the number of flights between the two countries would be cut, while the UK has added India to a red list, restricting travel and bringing in hotel quarantine for all arrivals from India from Friday morning.

Unlike last year, no national lockdown has been announced. Instead, regions are implementing their own rules.

Delhi announced a week-long lockdown at the weekend, leaving just government offices and essential services like hospitals, pharmacies and grocers open.

The authorities in the worst affected state of Maharashtra — which was already under a partial lockdown — have announced a series of additional restrictions starting from yesterday evening.

Maharashtra is India’s richest state and home to its financial hub, Mumbai.

It has also been a Covid hotspot since the start of the pandemic, accounting for a quarter of India’s cases.