NEW DELHI: India reported close to 2 million Covid-19 cases in August, the highest recorded in any country during any month since the outbreak of the pandemic. The country also saw a surge in deaths from the virus, with 28,859 fatalities reported in August, a 50% jump from the previous month’s toll.
The 19,87,705 cases recorded during August in India, as per TOI’s data collated from state governments, made it the worst outbreak of the virus in any country during a single month — higher than the number of infections reported in the US in July (19,04,462).

Here are the top developments:

  • Indian scientists have observed a higher association between asymptomatic Covid-19 cases and viral load, or the amount of virus in an infected person’s bodily fluid, in a study of over 200 patients with SARS-CoV-2 virus in Telangana, a “surprise” finding that may better inform the policymakers about the spread of the novel coronavirus infection. The researchers advise testing asymptomatic primary and secondary contacts followed by surveillance.

  • India’s cumulative Covid-19 tests crossed 4.3 crores on Tuesday, including 1,22,66,514 tests, which were done in the last two weeks alone, informed Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The states, which are contributing maximum to the overall number of tests include Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra among others. These three states account for nearly 34 per cent of the total testing. Over 10 lakh tests were conducted in the last 24 hours, the health ministry informed.

  • The health ministry will deploy central teams in four states — Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha — after a sudden surge in Covid-19 cases in these states, with some reporting more number of fatalities.
  • Of these four states, UP has the most number of active cases pegged at 54,666, followed by Odisha (27,219), Chhattisgarh (13,520) and Jharkhand which has 11,577 active cases. In terms of cumulative cases till date, UP has 2,25,632, Odisha (1,00,934), Jharkhand (38,435) and Chhattisgarh with 30,092 cases.
  • “The teams will support the states’ efforts towards strengthening containment, surveillance, testing and efficient clinical management of positive cases,” the health ministry said.
  • Union Ayush minister Shripad Naik, undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Goa after testing positive for coronavirus, was on Tuesday shifted out of the Covid-19 ward, a health department official said. A real-time RT-PCR test conducted on Naik showed weak positive result after which a decision was taken to move him to the general ward of the hospital, the official said.
  • The Union housing and urban affairs ministry is likely to issue detailed standard operating procedures for the functioning of metro trains allowed under the ‘Unlock 4’ guidelines, an official said. Ministry secretary Durga Shanker Mishra held a meeting with all managing directors of metro rail corporations on Tuesday to finalise the SOPs. Metro trains will be allowed to operated in a graded manner.
  • Five states — Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh — have accounted for over half of the total Covid-19 cases and close to 60 per cent of the recoveries reported in the last 24 hours, the Union health ministry said on Tuesday.
  • With 69,921 people testing positive for coronavirus infection on Tuesday, India’s Covid-19 tally mounted to 36,91,166, while recoveries surged to 28,39,882, pushing the recovery rate to 76.94 per cent, according to Union health ministry data.


  • Delhi: The national capital recorded 2,312 fresh Covid-19 cases, the highest single-day spike here in around two months, taking the tally to over 1.77 lakh, while the death toll mounted to 4462. Eighteen fatalities have been recorded in the last 24 hours.
  • Tamil Nadu: There is a growing number of instances of personal protective equipment being found dumped near hospital dustbins and in areas in and around the Isha crematorium at Nanjundapuram in Coimbatore. The government has made it clear that PPE kits worn by health workers should be treated as biowaste. On Saturday, TOI saw at least two PPEs dumped in a corporation dustbin on the Puliakulam Road.
  • UP: Shops in Uttar Pradesh will remain closed only on Sundays, instead of the two-day weekend lockdown. Fifty-six more people died of coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh, raising the toll to 3,542, while 5,571 fresh cases pushed the state’s infection count to 2,35,757.
  • Haryana: With coronavirus infections witnessing a spike in many northern districts, Haryana added nearly 30,000 patients to its Covid-19 tally, a jump of 85 per cent, during August, an analysis of data shows. A total of 29,767 cases were added to the tally, while the number of fatalities rose from 421 to 689.
  • Karnataka: Rural development and panchayat raj minister K S Eshwarappa said he has tested positive for Covid-19 and has been admitted to hospital on doctor’s advice. “I have been confirmed with coronavirus infection today, there are no other health issues.As of now on the advice of the doctors I’m undergoing treatment at hospital,” Eshwarappa tweeted.
  • Goa: Goa Airport announced it had done away with a rule which laid down that domestic travelers must carry Covid-19 negative certificates on arrival. Restrictions on interstate travel have been removed in line with guidelines of Govt of India.
  • Rajasthan: Rajasthan recorded six more Covid-19 deaths, raising the toll in the state to 1,062. The state also reported 670 fresh coronavirus cases. The total number of infected people now stands at 82,363 in Rajasthan.
  • Maharashtra: In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Maharashtra government has advised vulnerable people, including those aged above 65 and below 10, to stay at home and step out only for essential and health purposes.
  • Meghalaya: Sixty-five more people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Meghalaya, taking the state’s coronavirus tally to 2,433. Two elderly persons, who tested positive for Covid-19 have also died due to comorbidity issues, pushing the coronavirus death toll to 12 in the state.
  • Tripura: Tripura registered its highest single-day spike in Covid-19 cases as 509 more people tested positive for the infection, while a record 10 fresh fatalities pushed the northeastern state’s coronavirus death toll to 113. The fresh infections have taken the state’s Covid-19 caseload to 12,156.
  • Arunachal Pradesh: All travellers entering Arunachal Pradesh will be tested for Covid-19 by rapid antigen test at the state’s check gates and helipads, as per the Unlock 4 guidelines issued by the state government.
  • Andamans: Twenty-eight new cases pushed the Covid-19 tally of Andaman and Nicobar Islands to 3,132, while one more fatality took the Union territory’s coronavirus death toll to 46. Eight of the new patients have travel history, while 20 infections were detected during contact tracing.
  • Andhra Pradesh: Over 1,350 ambulances have been hired by the Andhra Pradesh government in 13 districts to cope with the increased Covid-19 workload. These ambulances will be used to transport Covid positive patients from one hospital to another or, from the patient’s residence to a hospital or Covid Care Centre.


  • The novel coronavirus has killed at least 851,321 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December. At least 25,533,540 cases of coronavirus have been registered.
  • US President Donald Trump has announced that the vaccine for coronavirus being developed by AstraZeneca has reached phase three clinical trials in the country and is very close to being finalised for approval. The phase 3 trial is being implemented as part of Operation Warp Speed, a multi-agency collaboration led by the US Health and Human Services, which aims at accelerating the development and manufacturing of medical countermeasures for Covid-19 and delivering 300 million doses of an effective vaccine by January 2021.
  • Wearing masks, hundreds of thousands of children and young people across England returned to their classes at schools and colleges on Tuesday after over five months of lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Students were seen queuing up outside their schools ahead of their classes, as new rules are in place to stop the spread of Covid-19.
  • China has registered 10 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, and all of them have been imported, while another 31 Covid-19 patients have recovered over that period. China’s total number of confirmed coronavirus cases now stands at 85,058 and the death toll is 4,634. The total number of imported cases is 2,509.
  • Nepal’s coronavirus tally crossed 40,000 with 1,069 new Covid-19 cases recorded across the country, a senior health official has said. The country has recorded 11 coronavirus-linked deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the toll to 239.
  • Myanmar has reported its highest single-day total of Covid-19 cases since its first cases were confirmed in late March. The health ministry announced 95 new cases, bringing the country’s total to 882. Of that total, 354 have recovered and six have died.
  • Russia’s tally of confirmed coronavirus cases surpassed 1 million on Tuesday as authorities reported 4,729 new cases. With a total of 1,000,048 reported cases, Russia has the fourth largest caseload in the world after the US, Brazil and India.
  • Pakistan has registered 300 more coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally to 296,149, the health ministry said. Another four patients died overnight due to the disease, pushing the Covid-19 death toll to 6,298.
  • Greek schools will reopen on September 14, the education minister said, pushing the date a week back to allow people to return from holiday. Masks will be compulsory in class and on board school buses, in addition to outdoors in congested areas, and will be provided for free.