Assam conducts nearly 60,000 COVID-19 tests so far, surpassing Kerala

Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told journalists that the state had conducted 59,553 tests till Sunday afternoon.

Published: 24th May 2020 08:25 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th May 2020 08:40 PM   |  A+A-

Coronavirus, Bhubaneshwar

A medic works on a sample for COVID-19 rapid test center. (File photo| Biswanath Swain, EPS)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: Assam has surpassed Kerala in the number of COVID-19 tests conducted so far. Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told journalists that the state had conducted 59,553 tests till Sunday afternoon.

“I don’t want to compete with anybody. A lot of discussions are going on in the national media on the Kerala model. It was a pleasant surprise for me this morning when I saw the tweets of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. He said they did 52,000 tests till May 23. In the given time, Assam did 56,000 tests,” Sarma said.

“We are a small state. Our health infrastructure is new. Kerala health infrastructure is known. The credit goes to our medical fraternity for achieving this feat,” he said.

The testing capacity at the six government facilities in Assam is 2,500 per day. With infrastructure being put in place, the Minister exuded confidence that it would go up to 5,000 a day from next week.

Earlier in the day, he had tweeted: “In a strong testimony to excellent team work and our steely resolve to do the best in a crisis like #COVID19, I am humbled to share that #Assam has carried out 55862 tests so far. This is higher than Kerala's (52771), a state known for its healthcare excellence.”

“My congratulations to behind-the-curtain #COVIDHeroes - our lab technicians, scientists, microbiology faculty of medical colleges, & team RMRC Lahowal who make extraordinary efforts to make this happen. And most certainly kudos to our dedicated teams from #HealthDept,” another tweet of the Minister reads.

Till 5:30 pm of Sunday, Assam recorded a total of 352 COVID-19 positive cases including four deaths. There are now 288 active cases. Sarma said 98% of the cases were reported from people who had arrived from outside and were in institutional quarantine.

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