India crosses crucial milestone of testing over 10 lakh people in a day

PTI New Delhi | Updated on August 22, 2020

India has crossed a significant milestone of testing more than 10 lakh samples for Covid-19 in a day, taking the cumulative tests to more than 3.4 crore, while the caseload neared the 30 lakh-mark.

As has been reported from states and Union Territories (UTs), which have pushed ahead with aggressive testing, there is a commensurate decline in the positivity rate, the Union Health Ministry said in a statement.

“Although higher number of tests will initially lead to a rise in the positivity rate, it will eventually lower when combined with other measures such as prompt isolation, efficient tracking, and timely effective and clinical management,” the ministry said.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said, “Keeping to its promise of exponentially increasing daily Covid-19 tests, India has crossed a significant milestone of testing more than 10 lakh samples in a day.”

With 10,23,836 tests done on Friday, India has achieved its resolve to test 10 lakh samples daily, he said.

The number of daily tests has been increasing in a steep climb. The average daily tests during the past three weeks also strongly depict the progress made in enhancement of Covid-19 tests across the country, Vardhan said.

A cumulative total of 3,44,91,073 samples have been tested up to August 21 with 10,23,836 samples being tested on Friday, the highest done in a day so far, Lokesh Sharma, scientist and media coordinator at the ICMR said.

Of the total of 10,23,836 samples tested on Friday, around 3.8 lakh samples were tested through rapid-antigen tests, sources said.

The cumulative tests conducted so far have reached 3,44,91,073 of which around 28 per cent samples were tested through rapid-antigen tests, they said.

“In a testament to the determined, focussed, consistent and coordinated efforts of the Centre and the state and UT governments, India has conducted 1 million tests in a span of 24 hours. With 10,23,836 tests done on Friday, India has achieved its resolve to test 10 lakh samples daily,” the ministry said.

Combined with enhanced testing, policy decisions of the Centre, states and UTs have facilitated easy testing across the country. This has boosted the daily testing capacity, it said.

Enhanced diagnostic lab network has also led to this achievement, the ministry said, adding that as on date the country has a strong network of 1,511 labs, comprising 983 in the government sector and 528 private labs.

With a record single-day spike of 69,874 infections, India’s Covid-19 tally increased to 29,75,701, while the death toll climbed to 55,794 with 945 fatalities being reported in a span of 24-hours, the data updated at 8 am showed.

The recoveries have surged to 22,22,577 pushing the recovery rate to 74.69 per cent on Saturday, according to the health ministry data.

The Covid-19 case fatality rate has declined to 1.87 per cent, it said.

India is third in terms of caseload after the US and Brazil.

The total number of tests for detection of Covid-19 had crossed the 3 crore-mark in India on Sunday.

The health ministry had asserted on Monday that the “new landmark” has been achieved due to expanded diagnostic lab network and facilitation for easy testing across the country.

Published on August 22, 2020

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