2 lakh home tests in 20 days against 3,000 in all of last year, Health News, ET HealthWorld

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2 lakh home tests in 20 days against 3,000 in all of last yearNEW DELHI: The uptake of home tests to detect Covid-19 infection has increased significantly during the current surge with 2 lakh home tests used in last 20 days, against 3,000 in the whole of 2021, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) director general Balram Bhargava said even as he asserted that overall testing in the country is being maintained at a level comparable with the second wave.

“Testing commodities are in plenty, whether it be for RT-PCR, whether it be for rapid antigen tests or for home antigen tests, or ancillary equipment like viral transport medium or RNA extraction kits. What is important is that we have noted an increase in uptake of home tests,” Bhargava said. “Few districts and states are witnessing a dip in test performance and they have been encouraged to ramp it up.”

The comment assumes significance as it comes in the wake of recent criticism over drop in testing last week even as infection continues to spread across the country.

The government said the recent surge in daily cases and high positivity rate is accompanied by rise in daily testing for last four days on a day on day basis. The number of districts with over 5% positivity rate has increased significantly to 515 districts from 335 in the week. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh are among the ‘states of concern’ with soaring positivity rate and caseload.

The active caseload on Thursday morning stood at 19.2 lakh as 3.1 lakh new cases were added in the last 24 hours. Maharashtra and Karnataka alone accounted for 28% of the total active caseload. More than 11 states and UTs recorded more than 50,000 active cases, whereas 13 states have active cases in the range of 10,000-50,000. Rest 12 states have less than 10,000 active cases.