Indian health ministry data show 4,000 deaths and 343,144 infections over the last 24 hours. It was the third consecutive day of 4,000 deaths, or more, but daily infections have kept below last week’s peak of 414,188.
The tally of infections since the pandemic first struck India more than a year ago crossed 24 million, and the death toll stood at 262,317.
But experts say a lack of testing in many places, particularly rural areas, meant the official count grossly underestimates the true scale of the crisis.
Television has broadcast images of families weeping over the dead in rural hospitals or camping in wards to tend the sick.
Bodies have washed up in the Ganges, the river that flows through the country’s most populous states, as crematoriums are overwhelmed and wood for funeral pyres is in short supply.
“We are removing all obstacles that are in the way of any resources we need in this fight,” Modi said. “Work is being done on a war footing. All departments of the government, all resources, our armed forces, our scientists, everyone is working day and night to counter COVID, together.”
Modi has faced severe criticism over his leadership during the health crisis, having allowed a huge Hindu gathering to take place in northern India in February and addressing political rallies in April that have been blamed for fueling the spread of the disease to rural areas.