A health worker takes samples for Covid-19 test, in Guwahati on Tuesday.(PTI)
A health worker takes samples for Covid-19 test, in Guwahati on Tuesday.(PTI)

Covid-19: India’s tests per million population cross 50k-mark

In the past 10 days alone, Covid-19 testing has gone up from about 46,000 tests per million population to about 53,000 tests currently
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Rhythma Kaul
UPDATED ON SEP 30, 2020 08:49 AM IST

India’s tests per million population for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) have crossed the 50,000-mark, shows Union health ministry data.

In the past 10 days alone, Covid-19 testing has gone up from about 46,000 tests per million population to about 53,000 tests currently.

Keeping the pandemic situation in mind, India increased its testing capacity significantly within six months.

“Till March, about 30,000 Covid-19 tests were being performed in a month on an average, which now has gone up to 29.7 million tests being performed in a month. We have made use of a calibrated approach to ensure testing facilities are made available as per requirement, with special focus on areas where infrastructure was inadequate,” said Dr Balram Bhargava, director general, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

ICMR has been spearheading country’s Covid-19 testing initiative since the beginning of the pandemic. On January 23, the first test to detect Covid-19 was performed at ICMR’s apex virology laboratory, National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune. Since then, at least 70 million tests have been performed in the country, with a testing capacity of close to 1.5 million tests in a day.

From 121 laboratories approved for Covid-19 testing in March, the number of labs added to the testing network across the country has gone up to 1,836. Of the total testing labs approved across India, 1,089 are in the government sector, and the rest in the private sector.

“On some days, we do more than one million tests, and then there are days when the number dips slightly due to various factors. What is important to note is that we have the capacity to test at least 1.5 million samples for Covid-19 in a day, and this capacity is constantly being increased,” said Rajesh Bhushan, secretary, Union health ministry.

“Covid-19 testing is adequately being done in most states; and the Centre has conveyed to states where more tests are needed. There are some states with high case load and the Centre is working with those states to effectively manage the situation,” Bhushan added.

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