India crosses two crore Covid tests, more than six lakh daily tests on last two days
The Union health ministry has released data to show that India is continuously ramping up its Covid 19 testing capabilities to cross two crore cumulative tests mark including more than 6 lakh samples tested over 24 hours for two consecutive days.
The health ministry release follows WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan’s observations that India had not conducted an adequate number of tests compared to some other countries like Germany, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan that she claimed had “successfully” managed the disease.
The health ministry data released on Wednesday says India’s tests per million has increased sharply to reach 15,568.
“India has continued testing over 6 lakh Covid-19 samples for the second consecutive day. With 6,19,652 tests conducted in the last 24 hours, the cumulative testing as on date has reached 2,14,84,402. The tests per million has seen a sharp increase to 15,568,” a health ministry release said.
On Tuesday, Swaminathan had said that there was a need for a benchmark figure of tests per million to indicate satisfactory level of testing.
“We need to have some benchmark and every public health department needs to have benchmarks on what is the rate of testing per lakh or per million, what is the test positivity rate,” she was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
She added that without an adequate number of tests, fighting the virus is like “fighting fire blindfolded”.
The Centre had announced its intention to sharply increase testing levels to reach one million tests a day by the end of August. The health ministry statement on Wednesday says that the Center and states are committed to aggressive testing for early detection and treatment of coronavirus cases.
“The resolve of Union and State/UT Governments to follow aggressive testing as the first important step in the early detection and treatment/home isolation of COVID-19 positive cases has resulted in India rapidly increasing the number of tests done per day,” it said.
The centre maintains that it is following a “graded and evolving response” which has translated into widening of the testing network in the country.
“To keep up with the comprehensive ‘TEST, TRACK and TREAT’ strategy, the testing lab network in the country is being continuously strengthened. The lab network as on today consists of 1,366 labs in the country with 920 labs in the government sector and 446 private labs,” the statement says.
As per a break of Covid 19 testing facility currently available in the country, there are 696 Real-Time RT PCR based testing labs including 421 in the government sector and 275 in the private sector. India also has 561 TrueNat based testing labs including 467 government owned labs and 94 private labs. The number of CBNAAT based testing labs stands at 109 including 32 run by the government and 77 operated by private entities.
India is currently the third-worst affected country by coronavirus with 19,08,254 total confirmed cases of the disease including 12,82,215 cases that have been cured from the disease.