Coronavirus tests in India cross 5-crore mark

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NEW DELHI: India has crossed the five-crore mark for sample testing of the novel coronavirus as of September 7, informed the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Tuesday, adding that 10,98,621 samples were tested for the pathogen on Monday.

According to the statement from the apex body at the forefront of formulating COVID-19 testing strategy in the country, a total of 5,06,50,128 samples have been tested for the deadly virus so far. The last one crore 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 seven lakh tests per day in the third week of August to more than 10 lakh tests per day in the first week of September. Which was achieved because of ramped up COVID-19 specific diagnostic labs across India with the active support of Central and State/UT governments,” the statement said.

The ICMR has been responding to the crisis 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 statement said that the existing recommendations related to COVID-19 testing had been 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.

It also informed that there are now 1,668 COVID-19 testing laboratories, including 1,035 government laboratories and 633 private laboratories. (ANI)