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Fighting COVID-19: Government Asks States To Ramp Up Testing Capacity

In a letter, Union Health Secretary and ICMR have said that increasing the testing capacity may be achieved by increasing the number of labs and enhancing the existing testing capacity of the approved labs

Fighting COVID-19: Government Asks States To Ramp Up Testing Capacity
Highlights
  • Health Ministry, ICMR has suggested measures to increase COVID-19 testing
  • States and UTs to assure all government labs have 2 RT-PCR machines
  • The district hospitals too should be provided at least 1 RT-PCR machine

New Delhi: Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director-General, Dr Balram Bhargava, have written to all states and union territories (UTs) to ramp up COVID-19 testing capacity. The letter, dated July 17, states that increasing the testing capacity may be achieved by increasing the number of labs and enhancing the existing testing capacity of the approved labs. They said that a strategy has been devised for increasing COVID-19 testing, which requires the “coordinated effort from the state government as well as various departments of Centre, and scientific bodies such as ICAR, DBT, among others under the Union government.”

Also Read: New Study Ranks Performance Of Available COVID-19 Antibody Tests

As part of short term measures, the states have been suggested to provide the RT-PCR machines available with the research and educational institutions, which come under the state and Centre governments, to be ‘deployed temporarily’ in the district hospitals and testing labs, so that additional machines are available. The state governments have been asked to prepare a roadmap for the redeployment while factoring the manpower requirements.

There are 281 government medical colleges approved by MCI and at present 263 have been approved for testing by the ICMR. The remaining government medical colleges can also be approved for testing by making available 2 RT-PCR machines other ancillary equipment and trained staff. There are 261 private medical colleges recognised by MCI, out of these 76 have been approved for testing and another 185, with 2 RT-PCR machines can be added to the testing network, the letter stated, adding that the states should immediately send the request for their registration as per the criteria of ICMR.

The states, UTs have also been asked to urgently procure rapid antigen kits to enhance their testing potential and the addition of private diagnostic labs with 2 RT-PCR machines each will also enhance the testing capacity by 48,000 tests per day.

Further, speaking about the measures to be taken in the medium-term, the states and UTs have been asked to assure that all government labs have 2 RT-PCR machines and one automated RNA extraction machine, to enhance testing capacity.

The district hospitals too should be provided with BSL-II facility with at least 1 RT-PCR machine.

Out of 391 government labs, there are 70 labs with automated RNA extraction platforms. ICMR is procuring 125 automated RNA extraction machines. If one automated RNA extraction is provided to every government lab by the state government testing capacity will increase by 90,000 tests per day. The state governments may also procure these machines on their own from Government e-Marketplace (GeM), the letter added.

As per the ICMR, 2,56,039 COVID-19 tests were conducted on July 19 across the country, taking the total number of samples tested till Sunday to 1,40,47,908.

Also Read: Union Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Launches World’s Most Affordable COVID-19 Diagnostic Kit Developed By IIT Delhi

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

26,21,50,955Cases
22,29,25,306Active
3,40,18,299Recovered
52,07,350Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 196 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 26,21,50,955 and 52,07,350 have died; 22,29,25,306 are active cases and 3,40,18,299 have recovered as on November 30, 2021 at 3:50 am.

India

3,45,87,822 6,990Cases
1,00,5433,316Active
3,40,18,299 10,116Recovered
4,68,980 190Deaths
In India, there are 3,45,87,822 confirmed cases including 4,68,980 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,00,543 and 3,40,18,299 have recovered as on November 30, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,34,980 536

11,525 338

64,82,493 853

1,40,962 21

Kerala

51,37,091 3,382

45,138 2,514

50,51,998 5,779

39,955 117

Karnataka

29,95,857 257

6,907 47

29,50,747 205

38,203 5

Tamil Nadu

27,26,197 730

8,291 46

26,81,434 767

36,472 9

Andhra Pradesh

20,72,725 101

2,102 38

20,56,184 138

14,439 1

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,387 5

86 3

16,87,391 2

22,910

West Bengal

16,15,378 511

7,733 71

15,88,172 571

19,473 11

Delhi

14,40,900 34

285 3

14,15,517 36

25,098 1

Odisha

10,48,880 197

2,165 26

10,38,306 221

8,409 2

Chhattisgarh

10,06,779 16

318 12

9,92,868 28

13,593

Rajasthan

9,54,770 12

187 12

9,45,628 24

8,955

Gujarat

8,27,435 27

262 22

8,17,081 49

10,092

Madhya Pradesh

7,93,150 12

126 4

7,82,496 8

10,528

Haryana

7,71,692 16

165 3

7,61,473 19

10,054

Bihar

7,26,219 2

39 2

7,16,517 4

9,663

Telangana

6,75,798 184

3,581 46

6,68,227 137

3,990 1

Assam

6,16,708 140

2,595 96

6,08,015 230

6,098 6

Punjab

6,03,258 18

329 11

5,86,330 26

16,599 3

Jharkhand

3,49,232 11

95 2

3,43,997 9

5,140

Uttarakhand

3,44,227 8

132 44

3,36,687 51

7,408 1

Jammu And Kashmir

3,36,681 150

1,626 32

3,30,579 181

4,476 1

Himachal Pradesh

2,27,093 90

824 29

2,22,422 61

3,847

Goa

1,78,890 24

276 3

1,75,230 19

3,384 2

Mizoram

1,34,810 437

3,805 95

1,30,512 531

493 1

Puducherry

1,28,893 12

296 16

1,26,725 28

1,872

Manipur

1,25,169 17

655 30

1,22,539 43

1,975 4

Tripura

84,791 4

78 8

83,890 10

823 2

Meghalaya

84,461 17

285 16

82,704 32

1,472 1

Chandigarh

65,456 8

58 4

64,578 4

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,273 4

35 2

54,958 2

280

Sikkim

32,233 5

121 6

31,709 11

403

Nagaland

32,109 9

140 5

31,273 4

696

Ladakh

21,540 12

250 18

21,076 29

214 1

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,683

1 0

10,678

4

Lakshadweep

10,394

24 4

10,319 4

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,683 2

8 2

7,546

129

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