India recorded more than 4,000 coronavirus deaths in a day for the first time and more states imposed lockdowns Saturday in a desperate bid to halt the devastating new surge.
The 4,187 new deaths took India’s overall toll to 238,270 since the pandemic started. It added another 401,078 new cases in 24 hours taking its caseload to nearly 21.9 million — second only to the United States.
Experts, who have expressed doubts about the official death toll, say the new wave may not hit a peak until the end of May and there have been mounting calls for tough nationwide measures.
Rahul Gandhi, leader of the opposition Congress party, called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to order a national lockdown or the spread could be “devastating” for India and other countries.
Britain has already declared a new variant found in India to be of “concern”.
The government, stung by criticism