Associated Press writers Krutika Pathi in New Delhi and Biswajeet Banerjee in Lucknow, India, contributed to the report.
Shahid Jameel, a virologist at Ashoka University in Sonipat, told Nature that the intensity of the new wave of infections in India was startling.
A total of 2,95,041 fresh infections were registered in a span of 24 hours, while the active cases crossed the 21-lakh mark, the data updated at 8 am showed.
India's wave of cases is contributing to a worldwide rise in infections as many places experience deepening crises, such as Brazil and France, spurred in part by new, more contagious variants, including one first detected in India.
Prime Minister Modi also had an interaction with vaccine manufacturers from across the country via video conferencing during which he urged vaccine manufacturers to continuously scale up their production capacity to inoculate all Indians in the shortest possible time.More news: Oxygen runs low in India as hospitals battle virus 'storm'
A Kashmiri man receives the AstraZeneca vaccine for Covid-19 at a health centre.
In the last 11 days, the daily count of cases has nearly doubled from 1.31 lakh reported on April 9 to 2.73 lakh on April 20.
Now India's two largest cities have imposed strict lockdowns, the pain of which will fall inordinately on the poor.
The government is rushing oxygen tankers to replenish supplies to hospitals. While some private facilities had enough for 4-5 hours, The Guardian reported.
Questioning if human lives were not important to the government, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday again pulled up the Centre over the issue of oxygen shortage at Delhi hospitals and directed it to divert the the supply of oxygen for industrial purposes to the hospitals.More news: PM to front media after new positive border worker case confirmed
Rashmi Chaudhary, a chartered accountant, told The Hindu she spotted the notice in the afternoon soon after she had deposited the medicine for her mother Pushpa (57), who is admitted in the ICU level 3 and is on BiPAP and NIV support.
However, the situation only worsened in 24 hours - with six hospitals desperate for oxygen instead of three - leaving the judges livid.
Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal last weekend hit out at "doctors giving patients unnecessary oxygen".
Meanwhile, local media reporting oxygen cylinders being looted from Damoh Hospital in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
Anil Vij, the health minister in the state of Haryana, has ordered oxygen tankers be under police guard amid the shortage.
According to the ICMR, 27,10,53,392 samples have been tested up to April 20 with 16,39,357 samples being tested on Tuesday.More news: Indianapolis FedEx shooter didn't have 'red flag' hearing, prosecutor says
"It's the result of a complex mix of bad policy decisions, bad advice to justify those decisions, global and domestic politics, and a host of other complex variables", she said on Twitter. "If you have corona (virus) or if you don't, it doesn't matter".