India surpassed a grim milestone of 12 million COVID-19 infections on Monday, with the country registering 68,020 new cases over the past 24 hours, according to the Health Ministry.
The ministry said the total number of COVID-19 cases is 12,039,644, with 291 new deaths taking the total to 161,843 in the country.
The country has seen a massive increase in new cases in recent weeks, with Monday registering the largest single-day surge since October last year.
According to the ministry data, states of Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh are contributing large numbers of new cases.
With cases continuing to surge, many cities have imposed restrictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. Authorities in Maharashtra, which recorded over 40,000 new cases on Monday, are mulling a complete lockdown to curb the infections.
In March last year, a nationwide lockdown was enforced to combat COVID-19, which brought the country to a halt. However, since June, the country has gradually begun to open up to the economic activity.
Health experts say people failing to take precautions has led to a fresh surge of COVID-19 in the country.
The Indian government is currently conducting vaccination in the country, with official figures revealing that over 60 million vaccine doses have been administered, including older people. All people above 45 years old would be eligible for vaccination as of April 1.