NEW DELHI: India conducted over 2 lakh COVID-19 tests, the highest in a single day, officials from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said on Wednesday as the total number of positive novel coronavirus in the country rose up to 4.6 lakh.
In the past 24 hours, about 2,15,195 samples were tested on June 23 in the country with a total of 73,52,911 samples that have been tested till date, said the official. Out of the samples tested a total 4,56,183 were found COVID-19 positive.
In an effort to ramp up testing capacity, ICMR has approved a total of 1000 COVID-19 testing labs in both public (730) and private sector (270). This includes RT-PCR labs (557); TrueNat Labs (363) and CBNAAT Labs (80).
The latest advisory of ICMR on COVID-19 strategies advises all concerned state governments, public and private institutions to take required steps to scale-up testing for COVID19.
"Since the test, track and treat is the only way to prevent the spread of infection and save lives, it is imperative that testing should be made widely available to all symptomatic individuals in every part of the country and contact tracing mechanisms for containment of infection are further strengthened," the advisory said.
"Our testing capacity has been increased to 3 lakh per day through government and private laboratories," said the official.
So far, the number of COVID19 tests done by the top five states which have ramped up their testing speed include--Tamil Nadu (1,26,404); Maharashtra (1,06,000); Rajasthan (6,34,000); Andhra Pradesh (5,62,000) and Karnataka (5,28,000).
On Tuesday, ICMR recommended all laboratories and hospitals initiating testing through the rapid antigen test need to ensure that all symptomatic negative patients should be essentially referred to a real-time RT-PCR test for COVID19.
"This is particularly essential as the rapid antigen test has a moderate sensitivity. All the entities using antigen tests are expected to tie up with the nearest RT-PCR COVID-19 testing lab to ensure that all symptomatic who are negative by the rapid antigen test get tested at the nearest facility."
The data of individuals tested by RT-PCR will need to be entered through the lab performing the RTPCR test, it said.
The COVID-19 death toll rose to 14,476 and the number of cases climbed to 4,56,183 in India after it registered 465 fatalities and a record single-day spike of 15,968 cases till Wednesday 8 am, according to the Union Health Ministry data.