India’s active Covid-19 cases continued to decline even as the festive season and concerns of the new and more infectious strain of the virus from the U.K. forced new restrictions across various cities and states.

The country reported more than 22,000 fresh Covid-19 infections in the last 24 hours, according to the Health Ministry’s update at 8 a.m. on Dec. 26. The daily death toll fell below 300 for the first time since June 9, as 251 fatalities were recorded on Christmas day. Active cases have fallen below the 2.9-lakh mark.

Several Indian states and cities have re-imposed some lockdown restrictions amid year-end festivities to ensure that infections remain in check. Besides, a new, more infectious variant of coronavirus, detected first in the U.K., has renewed fears about another wave of Covid-19 in the country. India has already cancelled all flights to and from the U.K. till at least Dec. 31.

Maharashtra has imposed a night curfew across all civic corporations from restricting movement between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Karnataka imposed a night curfew but has now withdrawn that order. Punjab, too, lifted its night curfew on Thursday night for Christmas eve. States have also started putting in institutional quarantine for travellers who may have returned from the U.K.

Globally, cases crossed 79.6 million leaving over 1.75 million dead.

Australian authorities extended a lockdown for Sydney’s Northern Beaches as a cluster of Covid cases grows. Pope Francis used his Christmas Day message to appeal for world leaders to share vaccines.

Hospitalizations in New York City continued to rise and the rate of positive tests showed no sign of slowing. In Boston, a doctor reportedly suffered a severe allergic reaction after taking Moderna’s vaccine.

President Donald Trump is expected to sign an order Friday forcing anyone flying from the U.K. to the U.S. to have a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of boarding. France, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland and Japan joined a growing number of countries that have identified their first cases of the coronavirus mutation, although there’s no clear evidence it results in more severe cases of the disease.

Track all news and developments around the outbreak in India here.

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