India has reimposed lockdown for 15 million people as coronavirus cases surge.
“Full Lockdown from 19th for Chennai, Thiruvallur, Chengalpet & Kanchipuram districts,” the Tamil Nadu state government tweeted.
The ruling covers the city of Chennai and neighbouring districts and will be in place until the end of June.
India, home to 1.3 billion people, has gradually lifted a nationwide lockdown over the past few weeks despite new infections continuing to rise.
The number of coronavirus cases soared by more than 10,000 in one day on Saturday, making India the nation with the fourth largest number of cases in the world.
The country’s latest single-day spike of 10,956 saw India overtake the UK in number of cases.
Tamil Nadu, of which Chennai is the capital, is the second-worst hit state after Maharashtra. The southern state has recorded just over 44,000 cases out of a nationwide total of 332,424, according to official figures.
The news came as England lifted more lockdown restrictions on Monday, with non-essential shops opening and more pupils returning to school.
The World Health Organisation has warned that England’s lockdown should not be further lifted until the government’s contact-tracing system has proven to be “robust and effective”.
In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, Dr Hans Kluge, the WHO’s director for Europe, warned that the UK remained in a “very active phase of the pandemic”.
The government has admitted that thousands of people at risk of having COVID-19 didn’t say if they would self-isolate after being contacted by its coronavirus tracers.
Baroness Harding, the Tory peer in charge of Test and Trace, also said “a small minority don’t want to self-isolate”.
Boris Johnson said on Sunday that the falling numbers of coronavirus cases has given the government “more margin for manoeuvre” in easing the 2-metre physical distancing rule, but Kluge warned against Britain rushing into reopening the economy, warning of the potential for a second peak.
Fears of a second wave of COVID-19 infections shut six major food markets in Beijing on Friday, and six U.S. states said their hospital beds were filling up fast.
Health officials worldwide have warned that restrictions are being lifted too soon by countries keen to jumpstart their damaged economies.
Mass anti-racism protests, and demonstrations at the weekend organised to ‘guard’ against attack on monuments such as the Cenotaph and a statue of Windston Churchil in London, have provoked fears of a second wave in England.
The European Union's health commissioner Stella Kyriakides told EU members: "We must be ready to roll back relaxation of measures if needed.”
In China, where the virus is believed to have originated, two new cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the capital, Beijing.
Authorities closed part or all of six big wholesale food markets that the two infected men had recently visited, but it is not known how they became infected.
Countries including Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, have also reported second waves after lockdown restrictions were eased.
Spain saw daily COVID-19 cases double two days in a row last week, with Madrid and Catalonia, two of the hardest-hit regions, being home to more than half of the country's new cases, in the same week that the regions allowed indoor restaurants, bars and cinemas to begin operating.
The country’s chief epidemiologist said the outbreaks are under control but urged caution.
The British government has been accused of allowing coronavirus to spread by introducing lockdown too late.
Kluge added: “We know that early lockdowns saved lives and bought some time for the health system to be ready.
“But I would rather than instead of looking to the past, jump to the future and say that the question of lifting the lockdown is as important as going to the lockdown. The key words here are to do it gradually. Do it carefully.”
On Monday afternoon the UK had recorded 41,698 deaths from coronavirus.
Coronavirus: what happened today
Click here to sign up to the latest news, advice and information with our daily Catch-up newsletter
Read more about COVID-19
How to get a coronavirus test if you have symptoms
How easing of lockdown rules affects you
In pictures: How UK school classrooms could look in new normal
How public transport could look after lockdown
How our public spaces will change in the future