Coronavirus: India preps for long haul, orders 1 million Covid-19 test kits from Germany
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is scaling up testing capacity further and has placed an order for one million testing reagents from Germany.Updated: Mar 17, 2020 14:01 IST
In its fight against coronavirus, India needs to amp up its diagnostic and testing mechanism.
In a bid to bolster the coronavirus testing and diagnosis framework in the country, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is scaling up testing capacity further and has placed an order for one million testing reagents from Germany. Nine more laboratories for testing and sample collection are being added to the network.
As of Monday, authorities said they had tested barely 9,000 people despite having at least 300,000 kits, putting India in the bottom rung of countries.
South Korea on the other hand, despite being the fourth-worst coronavirus-hit country in the world, has managed to keep its rate of fatalities low. So far, the country has reported over 8,000 cases and only over 70 deaths, part of this could possibly be owing to its rapid and mass testing strategy.Also Watch l Coronavirus | How deadly, how to identify, how to prevent: Dr Trehan answers
According to latest reports, South Korea has been able to conduct a large number of diagnostic tests at a fast pace - an average of over 20,000 tests in a day. This is helping authorities in detecting coronavirus patients at an early stage and treat them to recovery. The country has over 500 testing labs.
For India to efficiently tackle the coronavirus challenge, experts say the government needs to expand its testing criteria to control the surge in numbers. Aggressive testing is also important to give authorities and the people a realistic idea of the infection at a time when many patients are fleeing quarantine centres and suppressing symptoms.
India has a total of 125 positive coronavirus cases with three deaths. 13 patients have successfully recovered. The virus has infected over 150,000 people across the globe and has claimed over 6,000 lives worldwide.