India crosses 10 cr-mark in conducting Covid-19 tests: ICMR

India has crossed the 10 crore-mark in conducting tests for the detection of Covid-19 as on Thursday with an average testing of more than 10 lakh samples per day in the last 17 days, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said.

Till now, 74,000 tests per million population have been conducted.

India has conducted last 5 crore sample testing in only 45 days, Lokesh Sharma, scientist and media coordinator at ICMR said. According to him, India had tested 5 crore Covid-19 samples by September 8, and in less than 50 days on October 22, it reached the 10 crore-mark.

“This has been enabled by rapidly increasing testing infrastructure and capacity across the country. The 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 ICMR said in a statement.

Balram Bhargava, Director General, ICMR said, “We have effectively responded to the evolving epidemic through focused and collaborative efforts of the Centre, state and UT governments.” “Exponential increase in testing has led to early identification, prompt isolation and effective treatment of Covid-19 cases along with effective contact tracing. These have eventually resulted in a sustained low fatality rate,” he said.

“This testing milestone is testimony to the fact that India has been successful in implementing strategy of the 5T approach ‘Test, Track, Trace, Treat and use of Technology efficiently, which will enable us to contain the spread of the pandemic,” he added

Ramping up of testing facility across India was at the core of increased testing per day, he 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 a large number and migrant population testing (pooled sample testing), Bhargava said.

The total number of diagnostic laboratory has reached 1,989. Of which dedicated government laboratories are 1,122 and private laboratories number stands at 867.

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