INIDIA: The Indian Government on Thursday said that it aims to ramp up India’s daily testing capacity for COVID-19 and has taken a number of steps in this regard. At a media briefing, the Director General of ICMR Dr. Balram Bhargava said that the government plans to push up the number of COVID-19 tests being conducted in India daily from the current 1.6 million-2 million to 4.5 million by end of June.
The Centre is also focussing on increasing the Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) instead of ‘Gold Standard’ RT-PCR. Out of the target of 4.5 million tests, 1.8 million will be RT-PCR, while 2.7 million will be RATs, according to the Government.
Dr. Bhargava said that ICMR has so far approved a home-based RAT kit manufactured by Mylab Discovery Solutions Ltd, Pune. He added that kits by three more companies are in pipeline and likely to get the approval within a week.
Bhargava said kits for home testing will be available in market in 3-4 days.
The ICMR chief said that in large cities, focus was mainly on RT-PCR which is the standard test but in district level the backbone of testing has been TrueNAT and CBNAAT, while in rural areas RAT is the backbone of testing.
Meanwhile, more than 2.55 million tests were conducted in a span of 24 hours (on Thursday), the highest ever conducted in a single day in India.
– HINDUSTAN TIMES