India recorded over 1.15 lakh new Covid cases in the last 24 hours for first time since the beginning of the pandemic, setting an unprecedented, grim record during the second wave. The government said the next four weeks are “very, very critical”. The 1,15736 new infections have taken the country’s total cases to over 1.28 crore. 630 deaths in the last 24 hours have pushed the total coronavirus death count in India to 1,66,177. India is the world’s third worst-hit country after the United States and Brazil. Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh are the five states with the highest rise in daily infections. Maharashtra, the worst-hit state, reported over 55,000 COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours. In Mumbai, a centralised system has been set by the civic body for allotment of beds so that there is no chaos and crowding at hospitals. Maharashtra is followed by the southern states of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in terms of the total caseload. “It seems that people have given ”tilanjali (abandon)” to measures and steps that can protect them from Covid, such as mask wearing, avoiding gatherings and maintaining physical distance, which I have called social vaccine and are as important as the vaccines that we now have,” Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan was quoted as saying in a statement. He pointed out that a big reason for the surge in Covid cases on “lax behaviour towards following Covid norms”.