NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Authorities in New Delhi on Wednesday made mask-wearing compulsory again after COVID-19 infections rose in the Indian capital in recent days.

“Given the recent increase in COVID-positive cases and as advised by experts, it was decided to improve testing, focus on vaccination coverage of the target population and ensure strict enforcement of behavior appropriate for COVID,” Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal tweeted. .

Hospitalizations remained below 1%. But Baijal said:

“It has been decided to make it compulsory to wear a mask in public places.”

Delhi accounted for more than 30% of India’s 2,067 new infections reported Wednesday, bringing the country’s cumulative total to more than 43 million. Deaths nationwide rose by 40, mostly in the southern state of Kerala, bringing the total to 522,006.

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The actual death toll is estimated at 4 million.

The tally of daily infections has hovered around a month-long high in recent days after most precautions, including penalties for not wearing masks, were dropped a few weeks ago. Several northern districts neighboring New Delhi have again made masks compulsory.

Around this time last year, India was reporting record numbers of cases and deaths worldwide.

(Reporting by Krishna N. Das, editing by Angus MacSwan)

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