India has crossed the nine-million mark in conducting COVID-19 tests, with 90,56,173 samples having been examined till July 1, officials said on Thursday.
The officials of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) also said there are now 1,065 testing labs in the country — 768 in the public sector and 297 in private.
The daily testing capacity is also growing fast, they said, adding it was around 1.5 lakh per day on May 25 and is more than three lakh per day now.
As many as 2,29,588 samples were tested on Wednesday, which took the cumulative number to 90,56,173, the country’s apex health research body said.
Starting with just one laboratory, the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune, and having 100 in the beginning of the lockdown, the ICMR on June 23 validated 1000th testing lab, it said.
The Union Health Ministry, meanwhile, said the total number of people being tested for COVID-19 in the country will soon touch one crore.
“This has been (made) possible due to the removal of all bottlenecks by the government of India. Various steps taken by the Central government have paved the way for enhanced testing for COVID-19,”the ministry said.
Through a significant step announced by the Central government on Wednesday, COVID-19 testing can now be done on the prescription of any registered practitioner, and not exclusively of a government doctor.
The Centre has strongly advised states and Union Territories to take immediate steps to facilitate testing at the earliest by enabling all qualified medical practitioners, including private ones, to prescribe COVID-19 test to any individual fulfilling the criteria for testing as per ICMR guidelines.
Reiterating that ‘Test-Track-Treat’ is the key strategy for early detection and containment of the outbreak, the Centre on Wednesday advised them to take all possible steps to ensure full capacity utilization of all COVID-19 testing laboratories.
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