India achieves milestone of 50 crores COVID-19 Sample Testing – ICMR

Indian Council of Medical Research [ICMR], the apex body at the forefront of formulating COVID-19 testing protocols in India has achieved the milestone of conducting 50 crores tests on 18th August, 2021. With average daily testing of more than 17 lakhs in the month of August, India has tested 50 crore samples across the country till date.

India has achieved the milestone of the last ten crore tests in only 55 days.On 21st July 2021, India had tested 45 Crores COVID-19 samples, which reached 50 crores mark on 18th August, 2021. This has been enabled by rapidly increasing testing infrastructure and capacity across the country. ICMR has been enhancing COVID-19 testing capability across the country by expanding and diversifying testing capacity by leveraging technology and facilitating innovation in affordable diagnostic kits. The testing strategy has been carefully calibrated to increase access and availability of testing.

COVID-19 Samples Testing
Testing in Crores Date 
50 crores 18 Aug 2021
40 crores  25 June 2021 
30 Crores  8 May 2021
20 Crores  6 February 2021
10 Crores 23 Oct 2020

Prof (Dr.) Balram Bhargava, Director General, ICMR said, “We have seen that exponential increase in testing led to early identification, prompt isolation & effective treatment of COVID-19 cases. This testing milestone is testimony to the fact that India has been successful in implementing strategy of 5T approach “Test, Track, Trace, Treat and use of Technology” efficiently, which will enable us to contain the spread of the pandemic.Further, enhanced production of diagnostic kits has made India Atma Nirbhar, which has resulted in reduction of costs and improved availability of testing kits.’’

ICMR’s concerted efforts towards augmenting and diversifying testing prepared the infrastructure which made it possible to deliver on India’s increased testing requirements in the wake of the second wave of COVID-19. Even now, mass testing is on in areas showing a high positivity rate. Several advancements have been made towards reducing turnaround time of tests. ICMR has been further enhancing COVID-19 testing capability across the country by leveraging technology and facilitating innovation in affordable diagnostic kits. Easy-at-home self-diagnostic kits have been developed and approved to empower the citizens of India for COVID-19 testing.

Through our ardent efforts, it was ensured that a specific testing platform are made available addressing general testing (RT-PCR), High-throughput testing (COBAS), testing at remotest places and PHCs (TrueNAT, CBNAAT), in containment areas (rapid antigen testing) and for large number & migrant population testing (pooled sample testing). The total number of diagnostic laboratories has reached 2876. Of which dedicated government laboratories are 1322 and private laboratories number stands at 1554.

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