India's daily coronavirus infections jumped by 28,903 on Wednesday, data from the health ministry showed, for the highest increase since Dec. 13 and taking the nationwide tally to 11.44 million.
Deaths swelled by 188, the highest figure in two months, to stand at 159,044.
India needs to take quick and decisive steps soon to stop an emerging second "peak" of Covid-19 infections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today.
"If we don't stop the growing pandemic right here, then a situation of a nationwide outbreak can get created," Modi told a virtual conference of leaders of Indian states.
India has the world's highest tally of infections after the United States and Brazil.
Nearly 62% of infections in the past 24 hours and 46% of the deaths were reported by the western state of Maharashtra, the country's worst affected.
The federal government has blamed crowding and a general reluctance to wear masks for the spike, ruling out the virus mutations that have been a factor in Western countries.
Maharashtra, home to India's commercial capital of Mumbai, is among the states that have already tightened rules to curb the spread of the virus.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will discuss the rise in cases in a video conference with state chief ministers later on Wednesday.