Curfews loom as India records surge in cases

Authorities in India's western state of Maharashtra imposed night curfews on Sunday (March 28) to tackle a record surge in COVID-19 cases.

That's after financial hub Mumbai reported 6,123 new cases, the highest single-day spike since March last year.

India's health ministry said on Sunday that the country recorded 62,714 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the highest single-day tally since mid-October.

And with 312 deaths, single-day mortality figures were also at their highest since Christmas.

Several government hospitals in Mumbai reported they were running out of critical-care beds.

It's led to the mayor of Mumbai to allow only essential services to open at night - meaning that hotels, pubs and shopping malls must observe the night curfew rules.

Residential areas with five or more reported COVID-19 cases in the city have also been ordered to be sealed off.

The surge in cases across in India comes during a vital election season, as West Bengal and Assam started voting for state assemblies on Saturday (March 27).

The elections will indicate how support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi is holding up after a year of the pandemic and months of mass protests over farm laws.