India was hit by the Delta variant of the virus in April and May, but the rate of the spread of infections then slowed. It has risen again, with higher numbers in seven of the past eight days.
The national infection tally reached 31.57 million, according to data from the Ministry of Health on Friday. The death toll increased by 555 overnight, bringing the overall toll to 423,217.
Medical experts interviewed by Reuters news agency in late June said a third wave of coronavirus infections was likely to strike India by October, although it would be better controlled than the devastating outbreak of April May.
Health experts have called for faster vaccinations to avoid another large increase.
The government estimates that 67.6% of the 1.35 billion people already have antibodies to the coronavirus, with nearly 38% of the estimated 944 million adult population having received at least one dose of the vaccine.
The disease’s estimated reproduction rate, or R-value, has also increased over the past week,
The R-value hit 1 on July 24 – meaning that on average 10 infected people will infect 10 more – for the first time since May, when daily infections were near a peak of 400,000.
The southern state of Kerala announced a new lockdown on Thursday, while movement restrictions are in place in some northeastern states reporting rising infection rates.
Other places, including the capital New Delhi, have recently reopened most economic activities.