Andhra Pradesh with nearly 8,000 COVID-19 cases topped southern states in daily numbers for the second day on Thursday as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala also reported record single day tallies with the aggregate of the four breaching the 20,000 mark.
Tamil Nadu breached the 6,000 mark, Karnataka shot past 5,000 cases and Kerala saw 1,000 plus infections for the second day as the pandemic situation in the southern region continued to remain grim.
The tiny Union Territory of Puducherry recorded 123 fresh cases, taking its tally to 2,421.
The four states and the UT registered a total of 20,701 cases on Thursday.
The high caseloads in Kerala and Tamil Nadu came months after the former announced on May 8 it had flattened the curve while the latter earlier seemed to be on course for achieving a similar feat before two clusters played spoilsport and started pushing TN's cases north in quick pace.
On Thursday, Andhra Pradesh recorded a staggering 7,998 fresh Covid-19 cases, pushing the state's overall tally to 72,711 and the death toll stood at 884 with 61 new casualties.
With 37,555 discharges following recovery, the state's active cases were 34,272, according to a government bulletin.
East Godavari district is now the major virus hotbed in the state as the contagion has been spreading at a rapid pace over the past week in particular.
It also saw 14 Covid-19 deaths, the single largest number in a district in a day so far.
The state claimed to have conducted a record 58,052 sample tests in 24 hours, including 25,618 rapid antigen tests, resulting in 7,998 positive cases.
The state's recovery rate stood at 51.65 per cent and the mortality rate remained at 1.22 per cent, according to government statistics.
Tamil Nadu reported its highest single day spike of 6,472 fresh Covid infections on Thursday, with the overall tally inching towards two lakh cases. Death toll touched 3,232 with 88 fatalities, the government said.
The state's case count stood at 1,92,964 while that of Chennai touched 90,900, including 1,336 reported on Thursday.
Cumulative recoveries and active cases in the state stood at 1,36,793 and 52,939 respectively.
Karnataka too witnessed its biggest single-day jump, reporting 5,030 new cases and 97 related fatalities that pushed the total number of infections to 80,863.
Incidentally, a record 2,071 patients were discharged after recovery while the cumulative tally of those cured of the dreaded virus stood at 29,310, the health department said in a bulletin.
The state capital, where a week-long lockdown ended on Wednesday, once again shared the big chunk of the fresh cases, with 2,207 coming from Bengaluru Urban district alone.
As many as 48 of the 97 deaths reported on Thursday are from Bengaluru urban.
It tops the list of positive cases, with a total of 39,200 infections, followed by Dakshina Kannada at 4,209 and Kalaburagi where there were 3,370 cases.
Kerala's daily Covid-19 cases saw another new high of 1,078 after 1,038 a day earlier.
Cumulatively, the infection count soared past 16,000 while the toll mounted to 50 with five more deaths on Thursday.
As many as 798 people of the 1,078 contracted the virus through contact, 219 returned from overseas and other states while the source of infection of 65 patients was not yet known, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.
The active cases touched 9,458 while at least 432 were discharged from hospitals after recovery. A total of 1.58 lakh people are under observation, he told reporters.
With galloping infections, he said the option of a lockdown cannot be yet ruled out.
"We need to discuss the matter with everyone in the society. The medical experts have given their opinion. An option of complete lockdown cannot be ruled out yet but a decision has not yet been taken. We need to introspect all the aspects related to it and take a decision accordingly," he said in response to a question on implementing the curbs.