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Over 12 lakhs COVID-19 tests conducted in last 24 hrs, Centre follows 'chase the virus' strategy

ANI | Updated: Sep 20, 2020 14:52 IST

New Delhi, September 20 (ANI): For the first time, India conducted over 12 lakhs COVID-19 tests in 24 hours, amid the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country.
Higher testing forms an integral part of 'chase the virus' strategy which aims to catch every missing person to curb the spread of the coronavirus infection, informed the Union Health Ministry on Sunday.
The ministry said that India has crossed a crucial milestone in the fight against COVID-19. In a landmark achievement, for the first time, a record number of more than 12 lakh COVID tests (12,06,806) have been conducted in a single day, while the cumulative tests have crossed 6.36 crore (6,36,61,060).
According to the Central government, India has performed remarkably on fulfilling the World Health Organisation's advice of 140 tests/day/million population. The country's Tests Per Million (TPM) have been boosted to 46,131. The WHO advised this strategy in its Guidance Note on "Public Health Criteria to Adjust Public Health and Social Measures in the Context of COVID-19".
The health ministry further informed that about 35 States and union territories have crossed the advised number of tests.
"This strongly demonstrates an exponential increase in COVID-19 testing infrastructure in the country. From conducting merely 10,000 tests per day on 8th April, the daily average has crossed 12 lakhs today. The last one crore tests were conducted in merely 9 days," said the health ministry.

According to the government, higher testing leads to early identification of positive cases, timely and effective treatment.
"This eventually leads to a lower mortality rate. As evidence has revealed, higher numbers of testing also subsequently result in a lowered positivity rate. The sharp decline in daily positivity rate has demonstrated that the rate of spread of infection is being contained."
The Central health ministry said that India's daily testing numbers are one of the highest in the world.
Recently, the Union Government also provided 'Testing on Demand' for the first time. The States/UTs have also been given wider flexibilities to simplify modalities to enable higher levels of testing.
"The Union government has also allowed COVID-19 to be done on the prescription of any registered practitioner, and not exclusively a government doctor. The Centre has strongly advised States/UTs to take immediate steps to facilitate testing at the earliest by enabling all qualified medical practitioners, including private practitioners, to prescribe COVID test to any individual fulfilling the criteria for testing as per ICMR guidelines," said the health ministry.
"Higher testing forms an integral part of CHASE THE VIRUS strategy which aims to catch every missing person to curb the spread of the infection. States have been advised that all symptomatic negatives of Rapid Antigen Tests are mandatorily subjected to RT-PCR," it said.
To date, the country has 1773 laboratories to conduct COVID-19 tests. Real-Time RT PCR based testing labs: 902, TrueNat based testing labs: 746 while there are 125 CBNAAT based testing labs. (ANI)