Home / News / India /  India crosses 500 mn cumulative covid tests

NEW DELHI : India on Thursday breached the landmark of 50 crore cumulative covid-19 tests. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the country’s apex biomedical research body formulating covid-19 testing protocols in India, has achieved the milestone with average daily testing of more than 17 lakh in August.

According to ICMR data, India has achieved the milestone of the last 10 crore tests in only 55 days. On 21 July 2021, India tested 45 crore covid-19 samples, which reached 50 crore mark on 18 August 2021.

The government said this has been enabled by rapidly increasing testing infrastructure and capacity across the country. ICMR has been enhancing covid-19 testing capability across the country by expanding and diversifying testing capacity by leveraging technology and facilitating innovation in affordable diagnostic kits. The testing strategy has been carefully calibrated to increase access and availability of testing.

“We have seen that exponential increase in testing led to early identification, prompt isolation and effective treatment of covid-19 cases. This testing milestone is testimony to the fact that India has been successful in implementing strategy of 5T approach “Test, Track, Trace, Treat and use of Technology" efficiently, which will enable us to contain the spread of the pandemic. Further, enhanced production of diagnostic kits has made India Atmanirbhar (self reliant), which has resulted in reduction of costs and improved availability of testing kits," professor Balram Bhargava, director general, ICMR said.

ICMR’s concerted efforts towards augmenting and diversifying testing prepared the infrastructure which made it possible to deliver on India’s increased testing requirements in the wake of the second wave of covid-19, he said.

The government said that even now, mass testing is on in areas showing a high positivity rate. Several advancements have been made towards reducing turnaround time of tests. ICMR has been further enhancing covid-19 testing capability across the country by leveraging technology and facilitating innovation in affordable diagnostic kits. Easy-at-home self-diagnostic kits have been developed and approved to empower the citizen of India for covid-19 testing, the government said.

“Through our ardent efforts, it was ensured that a specific testing platform is made available addressing general testing (RT-PCR), high-throughput testing (COBAS), testing at remotest places and PHCs (TrueNAT, CBNAAT), in containment areas (rapid antigen testing) and for large number of migrant population (pooled sample testing)," the government said.

The total number of diagnostic laboratories has reached 2,876. Of this, dedicated government laboratories are 1,322 and private laboratories number stands at 1,554.

Meanwhile, 36,401 new coronavirus cases were reported in the last 24 hours with 527 deaths. Active cases account for 1.13% of total cases which is lowest since March 2020. India's active caseload stands at 364,129 which is lowest in 149 days. India’s weekly positivity rate remains 1.95% and daily positivity rate is 1.94%.

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