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Dr Arvind Lal, Chairman and MD, Lal Path Labs.
Dr Arvind Lal, Chairman and MD, Lal Path Labs.

COVID-19: Testing ratio needs to be increased, says chairman of Lal Path Labs

ANI | Updated: Mar 31, 2020 17:18 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar 31 (ANI): Dr Arvind Lal, Chairman and MD, Lal Path Labs on Tuesday said that that the testing ratio for COVID-19 needs to be increased to effectively combat the pandemic.
"We are currently testing 38 persons per million of population while the USA and UK are testing more than 2000 people per million of population. We have to increase the testing ratio to find positive cases and segregate them. The government of India is still maintaining that community spread has not happened," Lal told ANI.
Lal said now the government of India has revised the criterion for who can be tested for COVID-19.
"Now we can test anybody who has come in contact with people suffering or having some kind of signs and symptoms, which we were not allowed to test earlier. The testing numbers have suddenly jumped up. In India, we have tested about 38,000 people so far," he said.
He said that India has started taking precautionary measures much before the World Health Organisation (WHO) blew the siren.
"We were aware of what is going to happen. Fifteen days before WHO declared this COVID-19 to be an emergency all over the world, India had already woken up. We had started screening all these visitors who were coming from the affected countries. We were quite geared up," Lal said.
Lal, referring to the number of confirmed cases said it is "not a very large number" but added that testing has to increase.
Referring to the measures taken by the government, Lal said: "If we start having a surge of patients, then the government has made provisions where these patients can be admitted. For example, the AIIMS Trauma Centre has been turned completely into a COVID hospital."
"We have estimated that 5 per cent of all positive cases require ventilator support. A total of 1,400 ventilators are available in India," he said (ANI)