The novel coronavirus pandemic has so far affected over 33000 people in India. The death toll as of Thursday afternoon stands at 1074. Amid the crisis, many feel that the need of the hour is to test any person who has potentially been exposed to the virus.
While there does seem to be differing perceptions on exactly how much testing is required, it would seem that some states are lagging behind, at least in comparison to others.
West Bengal’s testing numbers have risen in recent days, but the state continues to have a pretty low rate of testing, especially when one factors in the state’s population. According to a recently updated data analysis done by The Hindu, the state has conducted approximately 148.2 tests per million people, the third lowest after Manipur and Mizoram.
It must however be noted that while Manipur has 2 cases and Mizoram had 1, West Bengal has so far recorded over 758 positive cases, as per data provided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. As per The Hindu’s data, Delhi tops the list with 2388 tests per million people.
As of April 29, at 6 pm, West Bengal’s daily update said that there had been 14,620 people tested so far. Of these, 1397 peoples – the highest so far in a single day – had been tested in the last 24 hours.
Last week several non-resident medical professionals had written to the Chief Minister stating that they felt West Bengal was indulging in "gross under-testing" and "misreporting of data" when it came to COVID-19.
The state government however has rubbished all such allegations. Recently, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had also accused the Centre of not sending adequate resources to Bengal and of sending faulty kits.