Record number of samples tested for COVID-19 : ICMR

New Delhi, July 15:
More than 3.2 lakh samples were tested for COVID-19 on Tuesday, the highest so far on a day, taking the cumulative number of tests conducted in the country till July 14 to 1,24,12,664, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) officials said.
According to the Union Health Ministry, the testing per million for India is consistently rising and has touched 8994.7 on Wednesday.
“A cumulative total of 1,24,12,664 samples have been tested up to July 14. A total of 3,20,161 samples were tested on Tuesday, the highest so far conducted in a day,” Scientist and media coordinator at the ICMR, Dr Lokesh Sharma, said.
The per day testing capacity, which was around 1.5 lakh on May 25, is nearly four lakh per day now, Sharma informed.
India registered a record single day jump of 29,429 COVID-19 cases pushing its tally to 9,36,181 on Wednesday, while the death toll climbed to 24,309 with 582 new fatalities, according to Health Ministry data.
The 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.
While explaining the concept of comprehensive surveillance and testing of suspect cases, the WHO advised that a country needs to conduct 140 tests per day per million population, the ministry said.
As many as 22 states are doing more than 140 COVID-19 tests per day per million in line with comprehensive testing guidance note by the WHO, said the Health Ministry, while advising the remaining states and UTs to increase testing to match the WHO advised levels, the ministry said.
One of the factors strongly aiding the increasing numbers of COVID-19 tests in the country is the steadily growing network of labs for testing of COVID-19. With 865 labs in the government sector and 358 private labs, the total number of testing labs is 1223, as on date.
In addition to the gold standard for test, RT PCR, TrueNat and CBNAAT are also used to augment this facility, it said.
The expansion of laboratory capacity has seen exponential increase from one lab in January 2020 to 121 labs in March 2020 and to 1223 labs today, the ministry said.
Among the states and UTs, Goa tops the list with 1,058 tests per day per million people followed by Delhi with 978, Tamil Nadu with 563, Assam with 310, Karnataka 297, Madhya Pradesh 249, Jharkhand 242, Rajasthan 235, Maharashtra 198 tests per day per million population respectively. (PTI)