How India fares against other COVID-19-hit nations after a million tests

ST Staff
Sunday, 3 May 2020

Experts have pointed out that testing figures in India are quite less given the estimated 130 crore population of the country.

On Sunday, India released a graph showing how the number of coronavirus positive cases after a million tests by the respective countries. India has the lowest number of positive patients, while Spain tops the graph. The press information bureau provides the information, and the database was taken from six countries - India, USA, Spain, Turkey, Italy and Germany.

However, a point to be noted here is that each of these countries uses different criteria for testing suspected patients. Also, there might be overlapping in tests as a person can be tested and then re-tested again. 

In countries like India, initially, only those were tested who were foreign travellers or who came in contact with these travellers. Later on, testing started for those who showed flu-like symptoms, regardless of their travel history. 

A clear comparison of all the countries is difficult because of the lacking parallels. Countries like Spain and Italy started testing for the virus weeks ahead of other countries. Similarly, while there was strict lockdown imposed on India, the US, on the other hand, did not take such strict actions.

In India, on May 2, the daily testing samples went up to 75,000. The testing all over the country has increased, which means more cases will start showing up rapidly. The workforce from other programmes was diverted towards laboratory testing under the government sectors. India currently has 419 active COVID-19 test labs out of which 100 are under private sector.

A summary of the latest average test figures around the world reveals that it is around 1,50,000 testing labs in the US, 1,20,000 in the UK (which has recently begun mass testing), 50,000 in Germany and 15,000 in South Korea, respectively.

However, experts have pointed out that testing figures in India are quite less given the estimated 130 crore population of the country. There will be a rise in the number of cases with an increase in the number of testing labs.

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