Residents wait for their turn as a health worker collects a swab sample for Covid-19 test. (Photo by NOAH SEELAM/AFP via Getty Images)

SOME of India’s big cities stare at stricter lockdowns and curbs as daily infections on Saturday (3) hit a six-month high.

The second wave of the virus in the country third-worst hit by the pandemic is seeing a surge in number of positive cases being reported in the last month.

India, on Saturday, reported 89,129 new cases with Maharashtra accounting for 47,827 infections.

The state’s chief minister Uddhav Thackeray warned of a lockdown if daily infections continued to rise, saying the healthcare facilities will be overwhelmed at this current rate.

In the southern state of Karnataka, authorities ordered gyms to be closed, barred functions at religious places and told cinema halls, bars, pubs and restaurants to limit the number of people allowed in.

The country’s capital, New Delhi recorded more than 3,500 cases, its highest this year, but its chief minister Arvind Kejriwal ruled out another lockdown for now.

The recorded 89,129 new infections and 714 deaths on Saturday (3), was the biggest daily rise since September 20 and the most deaths since October 21, according to a Reuters tally.

India follows only the United States and Brazil in infections, with more than 12 million recorded since the start of the outbreak.

The government has intensified its vaccination drive in recent weeks, but the shots have been slow to reach India’s 1.3 billion people.

Prime minister Narendra Modi has faced criticism for exporting vaccines produced in India when most Indians are yet to get the jab.