India has "crossed a significant milestone" in COVID-19 testing with more than 10 lakh (1 million) samples tested in a single day, taking the total number of tests carried out to date to over 3.4 crore, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Saturday. There has also been a corresponding decrease in the positivity rate as has been reported by the states and Union Territories that have proceeded forward with aggressive testing, the ministry added. 

The Health Ministry said, "Although higher number of tests will initially lead to a rise in the positivity rate, it will eventually lower when combined with other measures such as prompt isolation, efficient tracking, and timely effective and clinical management,".

A total of 10,23,836 samples were tested on Friday, with around 3.8 lakh samples tested through rapid antigen tests, reports say. Of the 3,44,91,073 cumulative tests conducted so far, testing on around 28 percent samples were carried out via rapid antigen tests, reports state. 

In its statement, the ministry said, "In a testament to the determined, focused, consistent and coordinated efforts of the Centre and the state and UT governments, India has conducted 1 million tests in a span of 24 hours. With 10,23,836 tests done on Friday, India has achieved its resolve to test 10 lakh samples daily,". 

Easy testing across the country has been facilitated as a result of the Centre, states and Union Territories collectively working together in their policy decisions, including enhanced testing, which led to a significant rise in the testing capacity conducted on a daily basis. The ministry added that an enhanced diagnostic lab network as well is one among the reasons for this latest accomplishment and stated that there are currently 1,511 labs, comprising 983 in the government sector and 528 private labs around the nation. 

India's COVID-19 tally registered a record single-day spike of 69,874 infections taking the total to 29,75,701 cases, while the number of deaths climbed to 55,794 with 945 fatalities being reported in a span of 24 hours, as per the data released by the Health Ministry.