Delhi ramps up coronavirus screening as cases rise to 4,898, but Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal test fewer per million

The Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) sent to West Bengal observed “weak testing and surveillance” in the state, which reported 1,259 coronavirus cases as of Monday. As per a

Representational image. PTI

Even as India completed 1 million tests on 4 May and the average tests per million rose to 818, West Bengal lagged behind Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, which conducted 429 and 642 tests per million, according to The Economic Times. Madhya Pradesh, which is among the states with the highest number of cases (2,942), tested only 602 samples per million, according to Indian Express. Meanwhile, among those states reporting a high number of tests per million are Delhi (3,486), Andhra Pradesh (2,313), Jammu and Kashmir (2,083), Tamil Nadu (1,932), Rajasthan (1,668), Maharashtra (1,423), Haryana (1,504), Gujarat (1,227), Karnataka (1,226) and Odisha (923).

On Tuesday, the number of coronavirus cases in India stood at 46,433 and the toll was 1,568. While India conducts an average of 75,000 tests per day, West Bengal conducted only 2,201 tests on Monday. On the other hand, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya, which have reported only one confirmed case each, conducted 869 and 815 tests in a day earlier this week, as per figures reported by NewsMinute and daily medical bulletins.

The total number of tests conducted crossed the 1,00,000-mark in Rajasthan (1,29,258), Andhra Pradesh (1,14,937), Maharashtra (1,70,139), Tamil Nadu (1,15,107) and 50,000-mark in Karnataka (74,898) and Mizoram (76,587) earlier this week. Odisha has tested 44,663 samples till Sunday, while the numbers for Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Chhattisgarh stood at 38,138, 26,439 and 19,902 respectively. Kerala, where 462 of 500 cases have recovered so far, tested 33,010 samples till Monday.

In April, only 5 percent of the tested samples gave back a positive result. Additionally, according to the Union health ministry and ICMR data, India reported 39,980 cases on the day it completed 1 million tests. At this milestone, Spain had over 200,194 cases, while the USA had 164,620 cases, a Times of India report said.

The Union health ministry said that the doubling rate of coronavirus cases stood at 11 days, as against the 3.4 days before the lockdown was announced in March. Delhi, with the second-highest cases in the country, reported a doubling rate of 11 to 20 days. Other states and Union Territories reporting this doubling rate included Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Punjab, according to The Hindu. Karnataka, Ladakh, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Kerala have a doubling rate of 20 to 40 days. Those in the category of doubling rate exceeding 40 days are Assam, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, and Himachal Pradesh.

The doubling rate in Maharashtra, which has the highest cases in India, still stands below the national average at 9.3 days as of Monday, Times of India reported.

In an attempt to meet the testing requirements, the government asked 14 mentor institutions, including AIIMS, PGI Chandigarh, CMC Vellore, JIPMER Puducherry, SGPIMS Lucknow and AIIMS Bhubaneshwar, to assist and train healthcare workers in conducting tests.

The ICMR too modified its testing guidelines to include all those with influenza-like illness to be tested in hotspots and large migration gatherings or evacuee centres. The earlier guidelines mandated that those with travel or contact history or exhibiting symptoms and healthcare workers be tested. It has also allowed authorities in hotspots to test residents using rapid antibody kits. Tests per million indicate a better reach and sampling than absolute numbers, as they represent the extent of the infection, an ICMR scientist told The Economic Times.

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