India tests record 8.97 lakh swab samples in a day

Updated on Aug 18, 2020 11:55 AM IST
India has conducted 309,38,400 Covid-19 tests to date since the first swab sample was diagnosed on January 23. There has been a threefold rise in conducting Covid-19 tests, as compared to a month ago, when 10 million samples were tested.
The country is close to achieving the daily testing target of around a million swab samples.(HT Photo)
The country is close to achieving the daily testing target of around a million swab samples.(HT Photo)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

India continues to aggressively ramp up its daily testing count for coronavirus disease (Covid-19), as 8.97 lakh swab samples were tested on Monday.

The country is close to achieving the daily testing target of around a million swab samples.

India has conducted 309,38,400 Covid-19 tests to date since the first swab sample was diagnosed on January 23. There has been a threefold rise in conducting Covid-19 tests, as compared to a month ago, when 10 million samples were tested.

“A new peak was achieved following 8.97 lakh Covid-19 tests in the last 24 hours. Even with such a high level of testing, the positivity has remained low at 8.81%, as compared to the weekly national average of 8.84%,” said a release from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW).

Aggressive testing leads to early identification and isolation of Covid-19 positive cases. The case fatality rate (CFR) is brought down through aggressive testing and efficient clinical treatment. The number of laboratories approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for diagnosing Covid-19 has also seen steady growth, experts said.

From a single laboratory -- ICMR’s National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune on January 23, -- to 160 labs on March 23, India has consistently expanded its diagnostic network amid the viral outbreak.

At present, the country has 1,470 approved laboratories across the country, including 969 and 501 government and private-run facilities, respectively.

“Each day laboratories are being added to the network of Covid-19 testing facilities across India. Now, we are doing up to 800,000 Covid-19 tests in a day and it is a significant achievement in such a short span of time. Besides laboratories in the ICMR’s network, Covid-19 tests are being done in other government and private-run facilities that are showing good results,” said an ICMR official, who did not wish to be identified.

India’s Covid-19-related death toll is also among the lowest, as compared with the other severely affected countries.

Though the Covid-19 fatality count has crossed the 50,000 mark, the MoH&FW said the country is better placed than other nations such as the United States of America (USA) that clocked a similar fatality figure in 23 days, while Brazil and Mexico reached it in 95 and 141 days, respectively.

On the contrary, India took 156 days to report 50,000 mortalities due to the raging viral infection.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Rhythma Kaul works as an assistant editor at Hindustan Times. She covers health and related topics, including ministry of health and family welfare, government of India.

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