NEW DELHI, India — India has recorded its biggest single-day surge with 5,242 new cases of coronavirus and 157 deaths due to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, taking the country’s infection tally to more than 96,000, the most in Asia.
The country now has 3,029 reported fatalities due to COVID-19.
The surge in infections comes a day after the federal government extended a nationwide lockdown to May 31 but eased some restrictions to restore economic activity and gave states more control in deciding the nature of the lockdown.
Authorities are largely attributing the recent surge in infections to the return of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers to India’s villages, which have weaker health infrastructure.
India had eased its lockdown rules on May 4 and even allowed migrant workers to travel back to their homes, a decision that has resulted in millions of people being on the move for the last two weeks.
All domestic and international passenger flights remain prohibited in the country. Metro services, schools, colleges, hotels and restaurants also remain shuttered nationwide.
Most of the infections reported in India are from its major cities. Mumbai, the financial capital and home to Bollywood, alone has registered almost 20% of the total cases.