NEW DELHI: Daily testing to detect Covid-19 increased significantly with more than 3.2 lakh samples tested on Tuesday, the highest so far on a single day. Overall, 1.24 crore samples have been tested for the viral infection so far, according to officials of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
In a bid to increase testing, the ICMR has approved a total of 1,223 Covid-19 testing labs in both public (865) and private sector (358). Since last few weeks daily testing has been in the range of 2-2.8 lakh samples every day. Despite the sample size increasing gradually, the positivity rate is largely stable between 9-10%, official say.
Official sources say the rise in testing is primarily driven by introduction of rapid antigen testing, which accounts for almost 50% of the total tests. “States like West Bengal, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Ladakh and Meghalaya may need to scale up testing,” a senior official said Testing per million population for India is consistently rising and touched 8,994.7 on Wednesday.
Testing capacity has also increased substantially from around 1.5 lakh samples per day on May 25 to nearly four lakh per day now. The World Health Organisation (WHO) in its guidance Note on “Public Health Criteria to Adjust Public Health and Social Measures in the Context of COVID-19” has advised comprehensive surveillance and testing for suspected cases. According to the document, WHO recommends 140 tests per day per million population as “comprehensive” testing.
In India, as many as 22 states are doing more than 140 Covid-19 tests per day per million in line with WHO guidance. Among the states and UTs, Goa tops the list with 1,058 tests per day per million people followed by Delhi with 978 and Tamil Nadu with 563. per million population.
India registered a record single-day jump of 29,429 Covid-19 cases pushing its tally to 9,36,181 cases, while the death toll climbed to 24,309 with 582 new fatalities, according to health ministry data.