india covid second wave
A woman is consoled after her husband died due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outside a mortuary of a COVID-19 hospital in Ahmedabad, India, April 15, 2021.

More Indian states are heading into lockdown to help curb surging coronavirus infections as the daily death toll climbed past 4,000 on Saturday, CNN reported.

India's health ministry reported a record 4,187 deaths attributed to COVID-19 on Saturday and more than 400,000 new infections in the last 24 hours, a global record. Saturday's report marked the third straight 24-hour period in which the number of cases was above 400,000.

Since the start of the pandemic, India has recorded more than 21 million cases and 238,000 related deaths. Experts think that number is likely a significant undercount.

Tamil Nadu is the latest state to announce a two-week lockdown starting Monday, CNN reported, and will close all non-essential businesses. Restaurants and grocery stores will have limited hours of operation during lockdown. The southern state saw its biggest spike in cases on Friday at 26,465 newly reported in the 24-hour period.

Several other states, including Kerala and Rajasthan, have imposed similar lockdowns in hopes of curbing the nationwide surge. Pressure is mounting on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to impose a national lockdown, something he has insisted would be the last resort.

"In today's situation, we have to save the country from lockdown. I would request states to use a lockdown as their last option. We have to try hard to avoid lockdowns and focus only on micro containment zones," Modi said in late April.

The country's record-breaking surge has been attributed to a rise in more contagious variants as well as large political and religious gatherings earlier this year.

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