Sajjad Hussain | AFP | Getty Images
There were 357,229 new cases reported in a 24-hour period, bringing the total to 20.28 million, according to data from the Department of Health.
The first cases in India were detected at the end of January last year and the country’s total only crossed 10 million infections in December, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. But the next 10 million cases were reported in just under five months, mostly in April.
So far, at least 222,408 people have died from the disease, but that number is likely lower than the actual number of deaths. Media reports suggest crematoriums and cemeteries are overwhelmed with the bodies of those who have died from Covid-19.
While the central government appears reluctant to impose a second nationwide lockdown, several states have stepped up restrictions in recent weeks, including local lockdowns and curfews. This includes Maharashtra which is the worst affected state in India, Delhi, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka and others.
Some health experts suggested India needs a national stay-at-home order and a medical emergency declaration to meet current health care needs.
Reddy of the Public Health Foundation told CNBC that India needs a two-pronged approach to tackle the second wave. First, efforts to immunize over 1.3 billion people must continue.
India faces at least a short-term vaccine shortage and just over 2% of the population has received both doses. From May, India opens vaccination to anyone aged 18 and over.
Second, India needs a “very strong” containment strategy to reduce the spread.
He added that India must ensure adequate social support for people recovering at home from milder symptoms.
How did India get here?
The Indian government has come under fire for letting large crowds gather for religious festivals and election rallies earlier this year. These mass gatherings probably turned into super-broadcaster events.