India achieved a remarkable feat today by performing more than two lakh Covid-19 tests in a single day. Starting from less than 100 tests per day, a multiple fold increase in just three months was made possible by dedicated teams of various stakeholders including research institutions, medical colleges, testing laboratories, Ministries, airlines and postal services.
Reports said that the country is going through an unprecedented crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic. To effectively deal with this situation, the government has promoted the indigenous manufacturers for developing equipment and materials required for Covid-19 testing to become self reliant. In January this year, India had only one testing laboratory for COVID-19 at National Institute of Virology, Pune. Today, one thousand government and private laboratories chains are testing corona virus samples across the country. ICMR is continuously ramping up its facilities by approving new laboratories and RT-PCR kits for Covid-19 testing. A total 123 RT-PCR kits of the various companies have been evaluated so far.
ICMR has also recommended the use of rapid antigen test kits for diagnosis of COVID-19 in containment zones in combination with the RT-PCR test. The kits will allow faster diagnosis without laboratory examination. India is also producing high quality, low cost testing swabs which resulted in the production of millions of swabs in record time and at a fraction of the cost of the imported ones. However, inspite of these developments, access to testing still remains a huge challenge in a large country like India.
ICMR has suggested to include additional testing methods to improve the access and availability of testing in various parts of the country.
Meanwhile, the government today said that the recovery rate of COVID-19 has improved to 56.70 per cent in the country and two lakh 58 thousand 685 people have been cured so far. During the last twenty four hours, 10 thousand 495 people have recovered from Covid-19. Presently, the total number of active corona cases in the country is one lakh 83 thousand 22.
The Health and Family Welfare Ministry said, 15 thousand 968 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the last 24 hours taking the total number of cases to four lakh 56 thousand 183. This is the highest spike in fresh cases since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic in India. In one day, 465 deaths have been reported taking the nationwide toll to 14 thousand 476.