NEW DELHI: While coronavirus cases are heading towards the three-lakh mark, Union health ministry does not have countrywide data related to daily COVID-19 testing capacity of the Centre and states, according to an RTI reply from the ministry.
The ministry, under the National Health Mission (NHM), has released Rs 4,114 crore so far for COVID-19 activity to states, with Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu getting the highest share, revealed the RTI filed by Vikrant Tongad, Founder of Social Action for Forest & Environment (SAFE).
He had sought information related to details of daily testing capacity of the Government of India and states, the Centre’s for Covid-19 testing and detail of testing kits in the country.
In response to the RTI, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said: “Data across the country is not available with the NCDC and the lab at the NCDC has capacity to test 200-300 samples for COVID-19 daily.”
While the ministry cited unavailability of data, reports quoting ICMR officials said a total of 50,30,700 samples were tested across the country till June 6 and testing capacity has been increased to 1.4 lakh per day.
The Indian Council of Medical Research is funded by the Government of India through the Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
Tongad had also sought state-wise break-up of the funds allocated by the health ministry for Covid-19 fight.
The ministry informed that Rs 1114.5 crore was allocated to states during the Financial Year 2019-20 and Rs 2999.99 during FY 2020-21 under NHM. Maharashtra, which has the highest COVID-19 burden, got the highest Rs 468 crore, followed by Uttar Pradesh (Rs 368 crore) and Tamil Nadu (Rs 360 crore).