The number of infections was 75,760 on Thursday, a jump of 4,000 infections on the previous record, taking its total number of cases since the pandemic started to more than 3 million.
The death toll 60,472, increased by 1,023 – a slight drop on yesterday’s fatalities.
The dire state of the pandemic comes as millions of residents in the east of the country are battling monsoon rains, with an orange alert out in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
An Indian Health worker takes a sample to test for coronavirus in New Delhi on Thursday
Bihar, one of the rural states affected by flooding, is seeing rising numbers due to villagers who have moved back to their homes after the pandemic took jobs away in the cities.
There are very few hospitals or doctors in the state – less than one medic per 1,000 people – and there are huge concerns its health infrastructure could rapidly become overwhelmed.
The local administration has even invested in a boat ambulance to ferry people to hospital through the floodwaters.
Calcutta, in West Bengal, went back under strict lockdown as a result of the surging caseload today. All public transport, offices, banks and other all but essential businesses were closed down.
Flights in and out of the city were cancelled for the day and train services were diverted.
Police officials check arrangements of a safe home dedicated to Covid-19 coronavirus positive patients inside a stadium during the day-long state-imposed lockdown in Kolkata on August 27, 2020
People ride on a boat in the waters of Dal Lake during a monsoon rainfall in Srinagar on August 27, 2020
But amid renewed local lockdowns, more than two million Indian pupils will sit admissions tests for medical and engineering colleges next week, the government announced on Wednesday.
‘We are very mindful of the safety of our students, we will take full precautions,’ Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal told state radio, adding that the tests had to be held to ensure students did not lose a year.
Already twice postponed this year, the tests will be spread over several days and held at more centres than usual, to ensure there is no crowding.
But many students have to travel long distances and there was a risk of infections, said the All-India Students’ Union, a leftist group that represents university students.
It urged students to wear black armbands and join online protests to put pressure on the government to delay the tests until infections fall.
Private security guards check the body temperature of students prior to their entry for the entrance examination of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) for their undergraduate programme and postgraduate programme during the state-imposed complete lockdown as a preventive measure against the surge in Covid-19 coronavirus cases, in Kolkata on August 27, 2020
Swedish climate activist Greta Thurnberg also waded into the dispute, urging a postponement.
‘It´s deeply unfair that students of India are asked to sit national exams during the COVID-19 pandemic and while millions have also been impacted by the extreme floods,’ Thurnberg said on Twitter on Tuesday.
India, the world’s second-most populous country, has posted the highest single-day caseload in the world every day since August 7.