Centre planning to increase COVID-19 tests to 10 lakhs a day in the next 1-2 months
Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare in a statement on Thursday said that the government is planning to double the number of COVID-19 tests to 10 lakhs a day over the course of the next one-two months from the current numbers of around five lakh tests being carried out. Speaking at the ''Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Technologies for COVID-19 Mitigation'' launch event, Mr Vardhan said the coronavirus recovery rate in the country has gone up to 64 percent, which he declared is the best in the world, while adding that the fatality rate at present is nearly 2.2 percent.
Hailing the scientists as well as the medical community for jointly combating the pandemic, Mr Vardhan went on to add saying the first novel coronavirus case in the country was detected on January 30. He stated that although it has been six months since the COVID-19 outbreak, the fight against the virus is still on. He also said that the challenge of combating the spread of the virus has been successful at every step of the corner despite the vastness of the country and its large population.
In regard to boosting the health infrastructure around the country, Mr Vardhan stated that India was importing ventilators six months back, but is now developing more than three lakh ventilators. "Most of the ventilators are being made within the country now. India is supplying hydroxychloroquine drug to nearly 150 countries," he said.
Mr Vardhan said, "In April, we used to conduct 6,000 tests daily. Today, we are conducting over five lakh tests every day. Our plan is to take it to 10 lakh tests daily in 1-2 months and we are working towards it,". Exports related to COVID-19 were brought to a halt in order to meet the requirements within the country. Having said that, a presentation will be made on Friday in the Group of Ministers on what can be opened up for the exports, he said. "This is possible because of the efforts undertaken by the country to ramp up production of critical equipment", he stated.
The Health Minister stressed that India is not behind the rest of the world in the search for a vaccine against coronavirus. Mr Vardhan said, "We have been able to do detailed sequencing of over 1,000 coronavirus genomes," while adding that India was among the five nations that could isolate the virus.