New Delhi, Aug 19 (IANS): India has reached the milestone of conducting 50 crore Covid-19 tests across the country, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the apex body at the forefront of formulating Covid testing protocols in India.
With an average daily testing of more than 17 lakh in August, India has tested 50 crore samples across the country till date, achieving the milestone of last 10 crore tests in just 55 days.
On July 21, India had tested 45 crore Covid samples, which touched the 50-crore mark on August 18.
This has been enabled by rapidly increasing the testing infrastructure and capacity across the country.
Balram Bhargava, Director General, ICMR, said, "We have seen that exponential increase in testing leads to early identification, prompt isolation and effective treatment of Covid-19 cases. This testing milestone is testimony to the fact that India has been successful in implementing the 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 'Aatmanirbhar' (self-reliant), which has resulted in reduction of cost and improved availability of testing kits."
According to a statement issued by the apex Covid body, "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 high positivity rates. Several advancements have been made towards reducing the turnaround time of tests. ICMR has been further enhancing the Covid testing capability across the country by leveraging technology and facilitating innovation in affordable diagnostic kits."
The total number of testing laboratories has reached 2,876, including 1,322 dedicated government facilities and 1,554 private labs.