73.5 lakh COVID tests done till June 23; 1,000 labs set up: ICMR

Updated: Jun 25, 2020, 07:33 IST | Agencies | New Delhi

The ICMR says currently 3 lakh samples can be tested on a regular basis

Medics use Rapid Antigen Kits to conduct COVID-19 tests at an MCD primary school, in New Delhi. Pic/PTI
Medics use Rapid Antigen Kits to conduct COVID-19 tests at an MCD primary school, in New Delhi. Pic/PTI

Over 73.5 lakh samples have been tested for COVID-19 till June 23, of which 2.15 lakh were examined on Tuesday, the highest in a day since the beginning of the pandemic, ICMR officials said.

The apex health research body on Tuesday validated the 1,000th testing laboratory, ramping up the capacity for detection of COVID-19 in the country. Currently, three lakh samples can be tested per day, an official said. "A cumulative total of 73,52,911 samples have been tested up to June 23, with 2,15,195 samples being tested on Tuesday," the ICMR said.

Of the 1,000 COVID-19 testing laboratories, 730 are in government setups while 270 are in the private sector. This includes RT-PCR labs (557), TrueNat Labs (363) and CBNAAT Labs (80). "However, in spite of these developments, access to testing still remains a huge challenge in a large country like India. There is a definite need to increase the outreach of testing by introducing rapid point of care diagnostic tests," the ICMR noted in its advisory. Also, there is value in conducting serosurvey with IgG-based antibody tests in certain situations, it said.

In view of this, it is now suggested to include additional testing methods to improve access and availability of testing in various parts of the country, the health research body said. The real-time RT-PCR is the gold standard test for detecting cases of COVID-19 and the average time taken is around 4-5 hours from receipt of sample to getting the result.

'Will clear stance after reviewing Patanjali report'

MoS for the Union Ayush Ministry Shripad Naik on Wednesday said that his ministry will clear its stance on pharmaceutical giant Patanjali's newly-launched ayurvedic drugs 'Coronil and Swasari' for the novel Coronavirus after reviewing the report sent by it. However, the minister said that it is good that Baba Ramdev has given a new medicine to the country.

Delhi's isolation coaches receive first COVID patient

The railways modified isolation coaches parked at the Shakur Basti Station received the first suspected COVID-19 patient on Wednesday, officials said, adding around 15 more were expected to arrive. All of the patients are suspected cases, they said. Fifty such modified coaches are stationed at the Shakur Basti Railway Station's maintenance depot.

Indians need travel authorisation from UAE, says Air India

Passengers wishing to travel to Dubai on residency or work permits would further require special authorisation from the UAE authorities, Air India said. As per the airline, passengers would need to have specific approvals from the UAE Embassy and UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to travel from India to the country on repatriation flights.

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