India has conducted over 10 million (1 crore) tests to diagnose COVID-19 so far, officials from the Indian Council of Medical Research said, as the cases of coronavirus rose up to 6,97,413 in the country.
In the past 24 hours, about 1,80,596 samples were tested on July 5 in the country with a total of 1,00,04,101 samples have been tested till date, said the official.
A senior ICMR official said, "In the last 14 days, average tests were 2.15 lakh (2,15,655) and in the last five days 1 million tests have been conducted respectively."
In an effort to ramp up testing capacity, ICMR has approved about 1,105 COVID-19 testing labs in both public (788) and private sector (317). This includes RT-PCR labs (592); TrueNat Labs (421) and CBNAAT Labs (92).
"ICMR advises all concerned state governments, public and private institutions to take required steps to scale-up testing for COVID-19. Since test, track and treat is the only way to prevent the spread of infection and save lives, it is imperative that testing should be made widely available to all symptomatic individuals in every part of the country and contact tracing mechanisms for containment of infection are further strengthened," said latest advisory of ICMR on COVID-19 strategies.
Our testing capacity has been increased over 3 lakh per day through government and private laboratories, said the official.
So far, the number of COVID-19 tests done by top five states which have ramped up their testing speed include -- Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka.
ICMR has recommended all laboratories and hospitals initiating testing through the rapid antigen test need to ensure that all symptomatic negative patients should be essentially referred to a real-time RT-PCR test for COVID-19.
Recently, ICMR wrote to all states and UTs saying all private laboratories in their areas who intend to initiate TrueNat/CBNAAT based testing for COVID-19 be encouraged to apply for NABL accreditation to ensure quality testing.
India's COVID-19 tally neared the 7 lakh mark with 6,97,413 cases after 24,248 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours, said the Union ministry of health and family welfare.
As per the health ministry, there are 2,53,287 active cases in the country while 4,24,432 patients have been cured or discharged, while one patient has migrated.
As many as 425 new deaths were reported in the last 24 hours in the country due to COVID-19, taking the number of patients succumbing to the deadly virus to 19,693.