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India crosses 10 crore-mark in conducting coronavirus tests: ICMR

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New Delhi, Oct 23: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said that India has crossed the 10 crore-mark in conducting tests for the detection of COVID-19 as on Thursday with average testing of more than 10 lakh samples per day in the last 17 days. Till now, 74,000 tests per million population have been conducted.

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According to reports, India has conducted last 5 crore sample testing in only 45 days, Lokesh Sharma, scientist and media coordinator at ICMR said.

As on September 8, India had tested 5 crore COVID-19 samples, and in less than 50 days on October 22, it has reached the 10 crore-mark, Sharma said. "This has been enabled by rapidly increasing testing infrastructure and capacity across the country. The 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 ICMR said in a statement.

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Balram Bhargava, Director General, ICMR said, "We have effectively responded to the evolving epidemic through focused and collaborative efforts of the Centre, state and UT governments."

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    "Exponential increase in testing has led to early identification, prompt isolation and effective treatment of COVID-19 cases along with effective contact tracing. These have eventually resulted in a sustained low fatality rate," he said. "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," he added.

    Ramping up of testing facility across India was at the core of increased testing per day, he said. Through our ardent efforts, it was ensured that a specific testing platform is 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 a large number and migrant population testing (pooled sample testing), Bhargava said.

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