Health officials have said the medical system was stretching its limits, with widespread reports of shortages of beds and medical oxygen.
Social media accounts were full of people searching for a hospital with a free bed or even basic medicines.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said late on Tuesday that he was only prepared to consider lock downs as a last measure, favouring instead more localised controls designed to stop the spread of infection.
A nationwide lock down last year caused widespread confusion. It came with short notice and, since it shut down so much of economic life, prompted many people with jobs in big cities to head home to villages, very likely accelerating the spread of the disease.
On top of that, mutated versions of the virus are spreading rapidly in the country, compounding the medical problems.
More than 15.6 million people in India have been infected, making it the second-worst-affected country, only behind the U.S…
More than 182,000 have died after becoming infected. (dpa/NAN)