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).

However, in terms of deaths, the US and Brazil reported a higher toll than India in August. The US had recorded nearly 31,000 deaths till August 30 while Brazil had registered 29,565 fatalities.

In India, the massive surge in infections during August can be gauged from the fact that 54% of all cases recorded since the outbreak of the pandemic came during the month. India’s total caseload stands at over 36.8 lakh. Of these, 28.3 lakh have recovered while there are nearly 7.9 lakh active cases in the country. India’s number of active cases is second only to the US, where the count stands at 25.6 lakh.

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The virus has so far claimed 65,373 lives in India, the third highest in the world following the US (1.87 lakh) and Brazil (1.2 lakh).

On Monday, India recorded the lowest jump in cases in a week, with 65,968 fresh infections reported in the country. The day’s death toll, at 824, was the lowest for a single day since August 3. The decrease in fresh cases is consistent with the trend of lower number of infections detected on Mondays due to lower tests over the weekend and processing work slowing down due to Sunday being a holiday.

Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are the three high burden states currently leading the Covid-19 caseload in the country, accounting for 45.7 % of new cases detected on Sunday.

The three states together also accounted for 50% of the deaths reported on Sunday and Maharashtra alone accounted for almost 21% of cases and over 30% deaths recorded on the day. The state has also been recording a high positivity rate of 20% and above.

Seven states accounted for 70% of the 78,512 cases recorded in 24 hours, health ministry data showed. Apart from Maharashtra, the other states with high caseload were Andhra Pradesh (13.5%), Karnataka (11.2%), Tamil Nadu (8.2%), Uttar Pradesh (7.8%), West Bengal (3.8%) and Odisha (3.8%).

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