Testing was ramped up in Delhi in the month of June with the government introducing rapid antigen tests from June 18.
The number of coronavirus tests in Delhi has gone down in August as compared to July, with the government attributing it to the decrease in COVID-19 infections in the national capital. The authorities conducted over 2.58 lakh COVID-19 tests in Delhi between August 1 and 15, whereas the figure stood at over 3.13 lakh in the same period in July. Between July 16 and 31, over 2.96 lakh tests were conducted in Delhi.
“It is wrong to say that the number of tests in Delhi has dipped in the last few days. We are doing sufficient number of tests in Delhi. There can be fluctuations over short time periods, but overall we have been consistently doing 19,000-20,000 tests daily for months now,” an official said.
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The official said the number of tests was low on some days in August due to festivals and celebrations such as Rakshabandhan, Janmashtami and Independence Day. According to the official, people do not go out for COVID-19 test during festivals unless and until it is absolutely necessary. Also, testing is lower on Saturdays and Sundays.
The tests in Delhi are being conducted strictly as per Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines, the official added. August 1 saw over 18,000 tests being conducted, while the figures on subsequent days — August 2 (12,730), August 3 (10,133) and August 4 (9,295) were significantly lower than the average number of tests being conducted on a daily basis, which is 20,000.
The numbers picked up later and on August 5 there were over 16,000 tests. Between August 6 and August 9, the number of tests exceeded 20,000 per day with August 8 seeing 24,592 tests being conducted, the highest for the first 16 days of August.
Testing was ramped up in Delhi in the month of June with the government introducing rapid antigen tests from June 18. Between July 1 and July 12, the national capital saw over 9000 RT-PCR tests being conducted daily with July 6 and July 7 being the only two days when the number of RT-PCR tests was below the 9,000 mark.
In fact, on July 2, the number of RT-PCR tests (10,978) exceeded the number of rapid antigen tests. Explaining the testing module, the official said that RTPCR test facility is readily available at all flu clinics, labs and in all hospitals.
Anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus can visit any of these centres and easily get an RTPCR test done, the official said. “There has not been a single complaint about anyone being unable to get RTPCR test done. Earlier, when the cases were high more people were visiting these centers to get themselves tested. Now since the number of cases has significantly dipped in Delhi, the number of RTPCR tests has also fallen down accordingly,” the official stressed.
Whereas in the case of antigen tests, the government is going to the people with antigen kits for testing them, the official added. The government has created testing facilities within localities, schools, dispensaries, etc. where it is encouraging people to get the rapid test done, she said. The ICMR protocol mandates rapid tests to be done within smaller localities. This is a uniform protocol followed not only by Delhi but also by all the states.