Municipal health workers screen residents for Covid-19 at Dadar in Mumbai, on 25 July 2020 | Mitesh Bhuvad | PTI
Municipal health workers screen residents for Covid-19 at Dadar in Mumbai, on 25 July 2020 | Mitesh Bhuvad | PTI
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New Delhi: Friday saw India conduct 4.2 lakh tests for Covid-19, the highest yet. It also  saw the highest number of new cases being detected in a day — 48,894.

According to statistics released by the health ministry Saturday, India’s daily positivity rate is now at 11.61 per cent. The positivity rate is the number of samples that test positive for the novel coronavirus among the total tests conducted.

India’s seven-day positivity rate has been over 10 per cent since 11 July.

According to the World Health Organization, a positivity rate over 10 per cent reveals that the testing capacity is limited to only those in the high-risk category, i.e., people most likely to have contracted the infection.

A country should have a test positivity below 5 per cent for over two weeks before relaxing public health measures.

Also read: Delhi Covid graph shows declining trend, but experts say it’s early to say peak has passed

India’s increased testing capacity

From 121 labs in March, India ramped up its capacity to test Covid samples to 1,301 labs in July. Of these, 902 are government-run and 399 are in the private sector.

Till date, India has conducted 1.58 crore tests and has a testing capacity of 11,484 tests per million.

In its press release issued Saturday, the health ministry said India’s “aggressive testing” will likely lead to a higher daily number of positive cases, but, eventually, this will lead to a decline. This was demonstrated in the central government’s targeted efforts in Delhi, it added.

However, the high positivity rate means that India still needs to increase its testing capacity to cope with the growing number of cases.

The government has consistently stated that its case fatality rate of 2.35 per cent — the proportion of deaths to the total number of cases — is among the lowest in the world.

On 25 July, India reported a total of 13.36 lakh cases, of which 4.56 lakh were active and 31,358 had died. India has the third highest number of Covid-19 cases in the world.

Also read: There’s an elephant in the room — to lockdown or not to lockdown as Covid cases surge


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