The government is planning to increase daily testing from about 15,000 a day now to 1 lakh by May 31. This target was shared with all the states and Union territories during the video-conference chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Saturday. COVID-19 LIVE updates
By April 30, the government also plans to have 300 testing laboratories in place. A presentation by the Health Ministry shared at the video-conference pointed out that from one testing laboratory on January 31, the number was 220 by April 10, and the target was to have 80 more labs.
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The ministry presentation also showed that the ‘Compound Growth Rate’ (calculated over five days) of cases was declining in several states. For instance, Rajasthan came down from a CGR of 33.6% on March 20 to 21% by April 10, even as its number of cases rose from 17 to 463.
Similarly, Telangana registered a decline in CGR from 41.5% to 24.5% during the same period, while its cases rose from 17 to 473. In Kerala, the CGR fell from 4.9% to 3.9%, despite cases increasing from 28 to 357.
The states and UTs that have shown an increase in CGR in the same period include Punjab (a rise from 14.9% to 20.2%, while its cases went up from two to 132); Uttar Pradesh (from 12.1% to 19.9%, as cases rose from 23 to 431); and Jammu & Kashmir (from 14.9% to 19.7%, as cases increased from four to 184).
By April 10, the government had a list of 142 hotspots. While at least 60 districts had more than 15 cases each and are kept under the category of “Large Outbreaks Containment” zones, 82 districts with less than 15 cases are in the category of “Cluster Containment” zones.
The ministry data shows that from 1,200 tests per day in 75 laboratories, comprising a total of 15,000 till March 20, testing had been expanded to 7,800 tests per day in 190 laboratories, adding up to 77,000 tests by April 2. Now 15,000 tests are being conducted per day, with 1.6 lakh tests done till April 10.
The government has been changing its testing strategy since January 30, when India saw its first coronavirus case. While only foreign travellers were being scanned on January 31, the catchment scope was expanded to healthcare workers, patients with severe acute respiratory illnesses and contacts. On April 10, the government included clusters and antibody tests also in its strategy.
As of now, there are 586 dedicated COVID-19 hospitals across the country with 1.04 lakh isolation beds, 11,800 ICU beds and 6,400 ventilators. The health centres are divided into three categories: for mild or very mild or suspect cases; for clinically moderate patients; and for severe and critical patients.
The government said it had 2.84 lakh personal protection equipment kits while 2.7 lakh were expected by April 30, and 28.52 lakh N95 masks with another 48.52 lakh expected by month end.
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