India's hardest-hit state for the coronavirus, which includes the megalopolis of Mumbai, put new restrictions in place Monday as the country recorded more than 100,000 new cases in 24 hours for the first time.
The hope that appeared at the beginning of this year that the number of cases would finally decrease has disappeared in recent weeks with a new wave that has brought the total number of cases since the beginning of the pandemic to 12.5 million, and the number of deaths to 165,000.
In the state of Maharashtra alone, the most affected, nearly 60,000 new cases have been recorded in the last 24 hours - for 110 million inhabitants.
The local authorities therefore decided on Sunday to bring forward the curfew from 8pm to 7pm, to apply a weekend lockdown, to close not only bars and restaurants, cinemas, swimming pools, places of worship and public places, but also private offices, and to ban all meetings of more than four people.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking above all to avoid a return to a national lockdown, after the one in March 2020, which had catastrophic consequences for the poorest.
On the other hand, he announced a large campaign to make the population aware of the necessary barrier gestures, with emphasis on the wearing of 100% masks, hygiene measures in public places and at work, as well as in places of care.
In the capital New Delhi, local authorities have ruled out any return to containment, despite an increase in the number of cases, but police have been instructed to hand out fines to those who do not wear masks.
People are no longer afraid of Covid. Most of them don't wear masks anymore, or don't wear them well, including many of my passengers, Surjit Singh, 68, an auto-rickshaw driver, told AFP. India has so far administered nearly 80 million doses of the vaccine.