- India has 768 in the public sector testing labs and 297 private labs
- Till July 2, India has conducted 90,56,173 tests for Coronavirus
- On July 2, 2,29,588 people got tested for COVID-19: Ministry of Health
New Delhi: With an aim to enhance the ‘Test-Track-Treat’ strategy of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), many steps have been taken by the central government and state governments across the country. These steps include ramping up of testing by states and efforts undertaken by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) for removing bottlenecks like mandatory prescription from government doctors in many states among others. It is the result of these steps that the country is about to touch one crore mark in the total number of people tested for COVID-19, according to the Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.
Dr Harsh Vardhan shared via his social media account that the diagnostic testing network is expanding very fast and there are now 1065 testing labs in the country. He said in a tweet,
As on date, 90,56,173 tests have been conducted in the country. In the last 24 hours, as many as 2,29,588 people got tested for COVID-19. There are now 1,065 testing labs in the country comprising 768 in the public sector and 297 private labs.
Covid_19 Update !
????देश में अब तक #COVID19 के कुल #test 90,56,173
????पिछले 24 घंटों में हुए कुल Test 2,29,588
????Testing Labs बढ़कर 1065 हुईं
???? सरकारी Labs-768
???? निजी Labs-297
#mask नहीं तो टोकेंगे, #Corona को रोकेंगे !@MoHFW_INDIA #IndiaFightsCorona pic.twitter.com/b8rVaUWAJO
— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) July 2, 2020
The officials of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said that the daily testing capacity is also growing rapidly across the country, adding that it was around 1.5 lakh per day on May 25 and has gone up to more than three lakh per day now. To further improve this, Health Secretary Preeti Sudan and ICMR director general Dr Balram Bhargava wrote a letter to the states and union territories on July 1 saying that COVID-19 testing can now be done on the prescription of any registered practitioner, and not exclusively a government doctor. The Centre has strongly advised States/UTs to take immediate steps to facilitate testing at the earliest by enabling all qualified medical practitioners, including private practitioners, to prescribe COVID test to any individual fulfilling the criteria for testing as per ICMR guidelines.
Health Secretary Preeti Sudan&ICMR DG Dr. Balram Bhargava write to states&Union Territories to increase testing. Letter states,"It is strongly advised that you should take all possible steps to ensure full capacity utilization of all #COVID19 testing laboratories in the State/UT" pic.twitter.com/g6I3r6Cg9C
— ANI (@ANI) July 1, 2020
States/UTs have been advised to facilitate testing at the earliest by enabling all qualified medical practitioners, including private practitioners, to prescribe #Covid19 test to any individual fulfilling the criteria for testing as per @ICMRDELHI guidelines.
— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) July 1, 2020
ICMR has strongly recommended that laboratories should be free to test any individual in accordance to the ICMR guidelines and State authorities must not restrict an individual from getting tested, as early testing will help in containing the virus and saving lives.
The Government of India has urged states to ramp up testing in a big way by using Rapid Antigen Point-of-Care tests in addition to real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) test, which is the gold standard for diagnosis of COVlD-19. The RT-PCR test uses the swabs from patients taken from the nose or throat and determines the actual presence of the coronavirus and if a person is currently infected. A rapid antibody test, on the other hand, requires the patient’s blood sample and can only detect antibodies produced in response to the infectious which generally arise after four days to more than a week after infection. The ministry said that the Rapid Antigen test is quick, simple, safe and can be used in containment zones as well as hospitals, as per criteria specified by ICMR for testing. The Centre has also asked states/UTs are to facilitate testing in a big way by the adoption of ‘campaign mode’ by organizing testing camps, using mobile vans etc. The ministry said,
This shall effectively take COVID-19 tests to the people’s doorsteps in high incidence areas to collect samples of all symptomatic individuals as well as their contacts, and get those samples tested by using rapid antigen tests.
While addressing the media on Thursday (July 2), Minister Vardhan said,
There is no need for people to panic. In a country of over 135 crore people, six lakhs people have contracted coronavirus. Out of these 6 lakh people, 3.6 lakh people have recovered and gone home. Most of the patients are in a position to recover and go home. The death rate is the lowest in the world at 2.94 percent. There is nothing to panic.
Dr. Vardhan further added that the country’s COVID-19 recovery rate has reached almost 60 percent and the doubling rate has reached 21-22 days.
India’s COVID-19 tally breached the 6 lakh cases mark today (July 2) with 19,148 new coronavirus cases being reported in the last 24 hours, as per the data by the MoHFW. The total cases now stand at 604,641 of which there are 226,947 active cases while 359,860 patients have been cured/discharged/migrated. Around 434 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours taking the number of COVID-19 deaths in the country to 17,834.