Plan to increase COVID-19 tests to 10 lakh per day in 1-2 months: Harsh Vardhan

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Published: July 30, 2020 3:29 PM

There was a time when exports related to COVID-19 were stopped to meet the requirements within the country.

He also hailed the scientific community for fighting alongside the medical community in the battle against the virus. (File image)

India is currently conducting around five lakh COVID-19 tests every day and the plan is to double the number in next one-two months, Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Thursday. During the launch of a compendium on ‘Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Technologies for COVID-19 Mitigation’, Vardhan, who is also the Union health minister, said the country’s recovery rate of over 64 per cent is the best in the world while the fatality rate is nearly 2.2 per cent.

He also hailed the scientific community for fighting alongside the medical community in the battle against the virus.
The first COVID-19 case in India was detected on January 30 and it has been six months since then but the fight against the virus is still on. Despite the vastness of the country and its population, the war against the virus has been successfully taken up in every corner, Vardhan said.

About ramping up health infrastructure in the country, the minister said six months ago India was importing ventilators, but it has now developed a capacity to manufacture three lakh ventilators. “Most of the ventilators are being made within the country now. India is supplying hydroxychloroquine drug to nearly 150 countries,” he said.

“In April, we used to conduct 6,000 tests daily. Today, we are conducting over five lakh tests every day. Our plan is to take it to 10 lakh tests daily in 1-2 months and we are working towards it,” Vardhan said.

There was a time when exports related to COVID-19 were stopped to meet the requirements within the country. However, on Friday, in the Group of Ministers, there will be a presentation on what can be again opened up for the exports, he said.

“This is possible because of the efforts undertaken by the country to ramp up production of critical equipment.” Vardhan asserted that while global efforts are on to find a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, India is not behind.
“We have been able to do detailed sequencing of over 1,000 coronavirus genomes,” Vardhan said, adding that India was among the five nations who could isolate the virus.

Referring to human trials of vaccine candidates being conducted by Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila, he said India is among the very few countries to reach that stage.

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