Bengal to double its Covid-19 testing capacity by next one month: Mamata Banerjee
The daily testing rate in West Bengal is 144 per million, which is above the threshold of 140 per million, set by the World Health Organization.Updated: Jul 22, 2020 08:34 IST
The West Bengal government is planning to nearly double its daily testing capacity for Covid-19 within the next one month and test around 25,000 samples every day from August 15, chief minister Mamata Banerjee said on Tuesday.
States such as Maharashtra and Karnataka are conducting more than 36,000 tests daily on an average. Uttar Pradesh tests more than 43,000 samples every day. On Tuesday, West Bengal tested 13,064 samples in 54 laboratories.
“At present, we are testing around 13,000 samples per day. By August 15 we would try to conduct around 25,000 tests per day,” Banerjee said while addressing a virtual rally.
Till July 21, West Bengal has conducted around 7.2 lakh tests. The daily testing rate is 144 per million, which is above the threshold of 140 per million, set by the World Health Organization.
“We are going to increase the testing rate further over the next few days as a result of which the number of Covid-19 cases will also rise. There is no need to panic,” said Banerjee.
The state had received flak from medical experts, opposition parties and the inter-ministerial central team for its low testing capacity in the initial days of the pandemic. In the first week of April, less than 200 tests were done per day.
The state had cited faulty kits and fewer laboratories as one of the reasons.
On Tuesday, the state reported 2,261 new Covid-19 cases taking the total number of positive patients to 47,030 till date. The positivity rate is 6.45%.
Four states in eastern India, including West Bengal, have shown high case positivity rates despite low levels of testing.
In the last 24 hours, 35 Covid-19 patients died in the state taking the toll to 1,182 till date.
“At present, the death rate in West Bengal is 2.5%. We are also going to reduce that. Only around 5% of the positive cases are severe,” she added.