Aug. 13 (UPI) -- India on Thursday reported nearly 67,000 new cases of COVID-19, its largest single-day increase on record, and New Zealand is fighting a new outbreak after more than 100 days without a local transmission.
The Ministry of Health for the world's second-most populated country at 1.35 billion people reported that 66,999 cases were confirmed over Wednesday, lifting its total number of infections to 2.39 million.
The new tally continues an upward trajectory in cases that have climbed unabated since India confirmed its first infections at the end of January. The last time India reported fewer than 50,000 infections in a 24-hour period was on July 27.
India only trails the United States and Brazil in infections and deaths as it reported 47,033 lives lost to the virus, with 942 on Wednesday alone.
Brazil at 55,155 cases and the United States at 55,910 rounded out the countries on Wednesday to have registered more than 50,000 infections, according to a real-time tracker of the virus at Johns Hopkins University.
The next highest country was Colombia with 12,000.
In total, the United States leads the world with more than 5.1 million cases and 166,00 deaths and Brazil follows with 3.1 million infections and 104,000 lives lost.
In New Zealand, chief medical officer Dr. Ashley Bloomfield warned Thursday that a COVID-19 cluster in the largest city of Auckland will continue to grow after 13 new cases were diagnosed in the past 24 hours -- the country's biggest increase since April.
During a press conference, Bloomfield announced 14 new cases of COVID-19, one of which was diagnosed in managed isolation and 13 linked to four cases diagnosed a day earlier among one family.
"Given that all these cases are linked, we are treating them as a cluster and what we know about clusters as we've found out in the past is that they do continue to grow, so we fully expect that there will be further cases," Bloomfield said.
Bloomfield said one of the cases was a student at Mt. Albert Grammar School, three are employees at U.S. business AmeriCold and seven are family members of those employees. Another case is an employee of a Finance Now, the workplace of a previously reported case, and a family member of one of the employees.
One of the positive cases visited an unnamed residential care facility, and medical staff are testing all those in the building, the Ministry of Health said in a release.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned the situation in Auckland will get worse before it gest better.
"As we all learned with our previous experience with COVID, once you identify a cluster it grows before it slows," she said. "We should expect that to be the case here."
Auckland, a city of 1.6 million people, was placed under Level 3 lockdown on Wednesday and New Zealand was placed under Level 2, which will help contain the virus' spread, the prime minister said.
"Once again, we are reminded of how tricky this virus is and how easily it can spread," she said.
Wednesday's cases ended a streak of 102 days for New Zealand without a local transmission as the nation has been lauded for its response to the coronavirus pandemic.
In March, as cases began to grow, Ardern ordered a stringent lockdown that lasted 75 days.
The new cases increase New Zealand's total confirmed infections to 1,239, of which 36 are active.