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India conducts Covid tests of 18-20 lakh a day: ICMR | India News


NEW DELHI: India is testing 18-20 lakh for the detection of Covid-19 per day, the head of ICMR said on Tuesday, stressing that despite infection among laboratory personnel, test performance is still lacking. maintains.
In a press conference, ICMR Director General Dr. Balram Bhargava said that the national Covid-19 positivity rate is around 21 percent and about 42 percent (310/734) of districts report a positivity rate higher than the national average.
Emphasizing that early testing, isolation and home care are the key to controlling transmission, Bhargava said: “RT-PCR testing capacity is about 16 lakh per day in our labs and RAT capacity is also of about 17 lakh per day. ”
“Labs are working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to meet the growing demand for testing. Despite infection among laboratory personnel, testing performance is still holding up,” he said.
Giving an example, Bhargava said that in the month of April and May, they were doing, on average, 16-20 lakhs of combined RTPCR and RAT tests per day.
On April 30, India conducted 19,45,299 tests for Covid-19, which is the highest number of tests conducted by any country, he said, emphasizing that even the United States never reached this number. On May 5, 19,23,131 tests were carried out.
“So we are hovering around 18-20 lakhs a day, except on Sundays when we find a drop of one or two lakhs,” he said.
Currently, there are 2,520 government and private Covid-19 molecular testing laboratories, more than 7,000 RT-PCR machines, and more than 3,800 TrueNat and CBNAAT machines.
A total of 30,04,10,043 samples have been analyzed as of May 7 in India.
In the second wave, Bhargava said that three initiatives were taken: the rationalization of RT-PCR tests, the increase of RAT tests for early detection, isolation and home care, and the third COVID-19 test approved. by world renowned agencies has received the marketing permission from DCGI.
In terms of streamlining RT-PCR tests, he said that RT-PCR should not be repeated in individuals who tested positive once, either by RAT or RT-PCR. Testing is not required for individuals recovered at the time of hospital discharge, and RT-PCR testing is not required in healthy individuals on domestic interstate travel.
Essentially, non-essential travel and interstate travel by symptomatic people should be avoided. All asymptomatic people taking essential travel should follow appropriate Covid behavior, he said, adding that mobile testing labs are also being deployed.
With the second wave of coronavirus, Bhargava emphasized aggressively increasing the use of rapid antigen tests in rural and hard-to-reach areas to ensure faster isolation.
He recommended installing several 24×7 RAT cabins in cities, towns and villages. He said RATs should be allowed in all government and private health facilities and no accreditation is required.
RAT booths should be installed with the community in schools, universities, community centers, RWA offices, etc. Public-private partnership models should be encouraged to establish innovative and convenient test centers. He said that RATs should be performed according to the RAT algorithm defined by ICMR and that all RT-PCR and RAT test results should be uploaded to the ICMR portal, he added.
The rules of social distancing must be guaranteed in all RAT and RT-PCR test centers.
“Covid19 tests approved by reputable global agencies have received commercialization permission from the DCGI and at-home testing solutions are also being explored,” he added.
In response to a question on whether children are more affected, Bhargava said that comparing the data during the first and second waves of COVID has shown that there is not much difference in age and that people over 40 are more vulnerable to adverse outcomes.
“We have found that younger people are getting a little more involved because suddenly they are gone and there are variants that are also prevalent in the nation that may be affecting them as well,” he said.
Bhargava further said that if one has a fever with or without a cough, headache, sore throat, shortness of breath, body ache, recent loss of taste or smell, fatigue, diarrhea, then one should be examined immediately and while waiting the test results, should be isolated. .
Some people make the mistake of monitoring pulse rate, he said, adding that those in home isolation should not confuse pulse rate with oxygen saturation.

Times of India