ICMR officials said that while the country had the capacity to conduct only 1.5 tests a day on May 25, this capacity has now been increased to over three lakhs a day.
Coronavirus Testing in India: Testing of samples for COVID-19 in India crosses 90 lakh! The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Thursday reported that by July 1, as many as 90 lakh samples have been tested for the novel coronavirus, out of which 2.29 lakh tests were conducted on Wednesday itself. According to the website of ICMR, which is the nodal agency conducting tests for the infection, there are 1,065 testing laboratories in India, of which 768 are government-run while 297 are private ones. According to a PTI report, ICMR officials said that while the country had the capacity to conduct only 1.5 tests a day on May 25, this capacity has now been increased to over three lakhs a day.
Among these 90 lakh tests, Tamil Nadu, with its 91 testing laboratories, accounts for as many as 12 lakh tests conducted of 10 lakh people. Of these tests, over 94,000 have returned as positive, while 10.80 lakh tests are negative and 576 are under process. On Wednesday, the state alone sent 31,521 samples for testing. Meanwhile, Rajasthan, which has a total of 29 testing labs, accounts for 8,39,370 tests, of which 8,18,427 tests came out as negative and only nearly 18,500 returned as positive. The report of 2,458 tests is awaited.
Karnataka has so far sent over 6.37 lakh samples for testing, of which 16,670 samples were sent on Wednesday itself. The state, which has 79 labs, has seen as many as 6.04 lakh samples return as negative. Kerala, which has been praised for its handling of the pandemic, has sent 2.39 lakh samples for testing till Wednesday, of which 7,447 were sent on July 1. The state has 42 labs.
In the northeast, among the seven sister states, Arunachal Pradesh, which has only four labs, has sent a total of 24,856 samples for testing, of which, the results of 1,669 samples is awaited and as many as 22,881 have turned out to be negative. Meanwhile, Nagaland has sent 16,974 samples for testing, till Wednesday, out of which 600 were sent on July 1. The state, having 12 labs, has seen a total of 535 positive cases. Meanwhile Tripura, which only has one testing lab, has sent as many as 65,549 samples for testing, of which only 1,401 have returned as positive.
In Meghalaya, on the other hand, 19,494 samples have been tested, of which 55 have returned as positive and the results of six are awaited. The state has seven testing labs.
The country had begun with only one testing lab at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune, and on June 23, ICMR approved the 1,000th testing lab, according to PTI, marking a tremendous growth in the way the country has been tackling the pandemic. The Centre worked tirelessly to remove any and all bottlenecks in the testing process, the latest announcement regarding which came on Wednesday. The government on July 1 announced that now, a patient can get COVID-19 test conducted on the prescription of any registered medical practitioner, removing the requirement of a prescription from a government doctor. With these measures in place, the testing figures in India are soon bound to cross the 1-crore figure, PTI quoted Union Health Ministry as saying.