The number of COVID-19 cases in India crossed the nine million mark on Friday.

Among the worse hit is the country's capital New Delhi, with graveyards in the city beginning to fill up.

As of Friday afternoon, there have been a total of 9 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in India, with over 132,000 deaths. The country is only second to the US, which has over 12 million infections and more than 258,000 deaths, respectively.

According to AFP, an average of 45,000 new COVID-19 cases are registered in India every day. The number of cases in Delhi, which is already grappling with air pollution, has soared past half a million, and record rise in daily cases and deaths from the virus are recorded.

On Thursday (Nov 19), the New Delhi government quadrupled the fine against those who do not wear face masks, from Rs500 (RM27) to Rs2,000 (RM110), hoping it would put off rule breakers from contributing the rise in statistics.

"Initially when the virus broke (out), I thought I'll bury 100 to 200 people and it'll be done. But the current situation is beyond my wildest thoughts.

"I only have space left for about 50 to 60 burials. Then what? I have no idea," the news wire service quoted Mohammed Shamim, a gravedigger in one of the megacity's largest cemetery, as saying.

India's stringent lockdown back in March succeeded in reigning in the virus' spread but the gradual relaxation of restrictions to reboot the economy has revived the spread.

Beds at intensive care units at hospitals in the city are fast running out even as the government has provided additional ones.

Source: AFP
Photo source: AFP via Harian Metro