Weeks after the Health Ministry announced an ‘exponential increase’ in the number of COVID-19 tests being performed in the country, the Indian Council of Medical Research now says that ‘there has been a 1,000-fold increase in the quantum of tests per day in the last two months’.
For every positive COVID-19 test more than 20 negative tests have been done. A total of 25,12,388 samples had been tested by 9 am of May 20, and the testing capacity has been scaled up to 1 lakh tests per day.
Two months ago, before the nationwide lockdown was announced, there were less than 100 COVID-19 tests happening per day, and in a span of 60 days, India has managed a a 1000-fold increase. The ICMR says this has been made possible by ‘dedicated teams from research institutions, medical colleges, testing laboratories, ministries, airlines and postal services working together’.
Today there are 555 laboratories across the country, performing molecular tests for diagnosis of COVID-19 – an unparalleled achievement in the history of the Indian health system.
For every positive test, it seems, more than 20 negative tests have been done throughout the course of the epidemic.
With its testing capabilities now matching the most advanced countries in the world, Indian institutions have risen to the occasion in an emergency situation. In the days ahead their contributions will be required even more as India continues to grapple with the clear and present danger still posed by COVID-19.
Watch this space for more.