Indian Council of Medical Research [ICMR], the apex body at forefront of formulating COVID-19 testing strategy in India has crossed 5 crore testing mark. With average testing of more than 10 lakhs per day, India has tested 5,06,50,128 samples across the country till 7th September 2020. The last one crores sample testing was achieved in only 10 days.
Rapidly increasing testing samples was made possible as the daily testing average had been on a continuous rise from around 7 lakh tests being conducted per day in the 3rd week of August to more than 10 lakh tests per day in the 1st week of September. Which was achieved because of ramped up COVID-19 specific diagnostic labs across India with active support of Central and State/UT governments.
ICMR has effectively responded to the evolving epidemic through focused and collaborative efforts of the Centre, State/UT government. Recently India achieved the milestone of conducting 10 lakhs tests per day. These milestones are testimony to the fact that India has been successful in implementing Testing, Tracking & Treating strategy efficiently, which will enable us to contain the pandemic.
ICMR has been responding to the situation by regularly revising its strategy for testing. In its latest advisory on COVID-19 testing strategy ‘Testing on Demand’ for individuals has been allowed. The State/UT governments can simplify the modalities to facilitate testing on demand.
The existing recommendations related to testing for COVID-19 have been extended, elaborated and divided into four parts – routine surveillance in containment zones and screening at points of entry, routine surveillance in non-containment areas, hospital settings and testing on demand – and choice of test (RT-PCR, TrueNat or CBNAAT and rapid antigen tests) in order of the priority.
India has been ramping up the testing facility across the country. The total number Covid-19 specific testing laboratories count has reached 1668. Of which dedicated government laboratories are 1035 and private laboratories number stands at 633.