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NEW DELHI: India’s financial capital Mumbai imposed fresh coronavirus restrictions on Monday as a rise in cases in the worst-affected region sparked fears of a new wave, while the country’s vast inoculation drive fell behind schedule.

All religious, social and political gatherings are banned in the city and the surrounding western state of Maharashtra, home to 110 million people, after infections spiked to levels last seen in October.

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said he was “worried about the severity of a second wave if it hits the state,” which has recorded nearly 52,000 deaths since the pandemic began.

“The simple mantra is wear a mask, follow discipline and avoid lockdown. We will review the situation again in the next eight days and decide on a lockdown,” Thackeray said in a live television address on Sunday.

Elsewhere in the state there were tighter restrictions.

India’s tough nationwide lockdown imposed in March has largely been relaxed, with even its famously lavish weddings and cricket crowds returning, albeit with numbers capped.

Daily new cases peaked at more than 97,000 in September but have been falling sharply, coming in at under 9,000 a day earlier this month.

But the past two weeks have seen an uptick, with around 14,000 new infections on Monday, the biggest rise coming in Maharashtra, taking India’s total past 11 million since the pandemic began with 156,000 deaths.


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Which cricket team will win the final of the World Test Championship (WTC) to be played at Southampton, England from June 18?

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