Coronavirus cases in India crossed 2.5 lakh on Sunday, data from state governments showed, as a surge in infections continued amid increasing relaxations allowed by the government following an over two-month nationwide lockdown. The country recorded a daily jump of COVID-19 cases by over 9,000 for the fifth straight day.
Maharashtra registered 3,007 new cases in the last 24 hours, the government said, and remains the worst state in the country with 85,975 cases. More than 3,000 people have died in the state home to India's financial and entertainment capital Mumbai.
The state has now surpassed China's COVID-19 tally of 83,036 confirmed cases, a health official said.
Tamil Nadu reported 1,515 more COVID-19 cases and 18 deaths. The total number of cases in the state is now 31,667, including 269 deaths, according to the Health Department.
Delhi, which is also witnessing a spike as people resumed regular activities and shed caution, crossed the 28,000-mark with 1,282 fresh cases while the number deaths climbed to 812 on Sunday.
In Gujarat, the numbers of cases so far stand at 19,592 with 1,219 deaths.
Uttar Pradesh recorded the second-biggest spike in cases with 433 new patients that took the total to 10,536. On Friday, the state had reported 502 new cases.
West Bengal recorded the highest single-day surge for the third consecutive day on Sunday, with 449 people testing positive for the infection in 24 hours, taking the tally in the state to 8,187, the health department said.
India is preparing for a calibrated exit from the lockdown by easing more restrictions under "Unlock-1" - the first of the three-phase plan for reopening of prohibited activities in non-containment zones with a stringent set of rules.
The new phase is especially challenging for the five worst-affected states - Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Gujarat and Rajasthan, accounting for nearly 70 per cent of the total confirmed coronavirus cases, and nearly 78 per cent of the deaths.
(With inputs from agencies)