The Indian equity benchmarks crashed on Monday as rising Covid-19 cases continue to weigh on investors’ sentiment. The Sensex dropped as much as 1,479 points or 2.98 per cent to hit an intraday low of 48,112.17 and Nifty 50 index tumbled below its important psychological level of 14,400 at the day’s lowest level. All but two shares in the Nifty 50 basket were trading with a negative bias.As of 9:41 am, the Sensex fell 1,194 points to 48,397 and Nifty 50 index declined 377 points or 2.54 per cent to 14,457.India recorded 1,68,912 new Covid in the last 24 hours, the sixth record rise in seven days, pushing the country’s caseload to over 1.35 crore. The resurgence of the virus led to 904 new deaths, taking the total death count to 1,70,179.Maharashtra remains the worst-affected state with 63,294 new cases and 349 deaths in the last 24 hours. The state government is likely to take a call on announcing a complete lockdown in the state this week.Relentless surge in coronavirus cases is threatening to derail a recovery in Asia’s third-largest economy.Meanwhile, selling pressure was so intense that all the 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading lower led by the Nifty PSU Bank index’s over 7 per cent fall. Nifty Realty, Private Bank, Auto, Bank, Metal and media indices also fall between 3-4 per cent.Mid- and small-cap shares were also facing selling pressure as Nifty Midcap 100 index dropped 3.87 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index fell 4 per cent.IndusInd Bank was top Nifty loser, the stock fell 7 per cent to Rs 860. State Bank of India, Tata Motors, Bajaj Finance, Adani Ports, UPL, Bajaj Auto, Eicher Motors, Indian Oil, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Hero MotoCorp and Axis Bank were among the notable losers.On the flipside, Cipla, Infosys, Divi’s Labs and Dr Reddy’s Labs were among the notable gainers.The overall market breadth was extremely bearish as 1,960 shares were declining while 446 were advancing on the BSE.