Coronavirus in India: WHO advises 140 tests per day per million population
BL Soni

The World Health Organisation, in its guidance note on Public Health Criteria to Adjust Public Health and Social Measures in the Context of COVID-19, has advised comprehensive surveillance for suspected cases. While explaining the concept of comprehensive surveillance and testing of suspect cases, it advises that a country needs 140 tests per day per million population.

With the various coordinated efforts made by the Central and the States/UTs, 22 States/UTs in India are already conducting 140 and more tests per day per million. They are being regularly advised to increase the testing capacity to match the WHO advised levels of testing.

The Union Health Ministry has said that one of the factors strongly aiding the increasing number of COVID-19 tests in the country is the steadily growing network of laboratories for such testing. With 865 government sector laboratories and 358 private laboratories, the total number of testing labs is 1,223, as on date. In addition to the gold standard for tests, RT PCR, TrueNat and CBNAAT are also used to augment this facility.

• Real-Time RT PCR based testing labs: 633 (Govt: 391 + Private: 242)

• TrueNat based testing labs: 491 (Govt: 439 + Private: 52)

• CBNAAT based testing labs: 99 (Govt: 35 + Private: 64)

The expansion of laboratory capacity has seen exponential increase from one lab in Jan 2020 to 121 labs in March 2020 and to 1223 labs today.

During the last 24 hours, 3,20,161 samples have been tested. The cumulative number of samples tested as of now is 1,24,12,664. The testing per million for India is consistently rising. Today it has touched 8994.7.

On July 14, more than 3.2 lakh tests were done on a single day.

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