India hits record for infections pushing Mumbai restrictions through April


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India added more than 100,000 coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, a record rise that prompted its wealthiest state to order offices to work from home and close shopping malls and restaurants until April.

Maharashtra, which is home to the financial center of Mumbai and contributes around 15% of the national production, will stop all non-essential services starting at 8pm on Monday. Private offices were asked to work from home, with some allowances for banks and stock exchanges.

The country reported 103,558 new infections, according to data from the federal Health Ministry on Monday.

“There is an alarming rate of growth of Covid-19 cases and deaths in the country,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s federal government said in a statement over the weekend.

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Crowded Juhu Beach in Mumbai on April 4.

Photographer: Sujit Jaiswal / AFP / Getty Images

As the number of infections continues to spiral, five states in India are in the middle of Local elections with thousands of people gathered at campaign rallies, while northern Uttarakhand is marking the month-long Hindu pilgrimage. Kumbh Mela, which attracts hundreds of thousands of people to the banks of the Ganges River.

Maharashtra is the epicenter of this new outbreak, which follows an inexplicable hiatus in recent months that allowed businesses to reopen and fueled optimism among policy makers about a recovery in growth. The renewed restrictions will weigh on the central bank, whose officials will meet Monday through Wednesday to decide on monetary policy.

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