COVID-19: Karnataka tops country in highest number of RT-PCR tests per lakh people

Telangana fared the worst in the country, with just 221 RT-PCR tests conducted for every one lakh people.
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As of Sunday day-end, Karnataka conducted the highest number of RT-PCR tests per lakh population in the country, a country-wide comparison of testing numbers tabled by the State War Room showed. Other than RT-PCR tests, most states in the country are also doing antigen-based tests for COVID-19 detection. While the antigen tests give results within 30 minutes and cost much less, they are not as reliable as RT-PCR tests which are considered as a gold standard.

Previously, experts had cautioned that over reliance on antigen tests may paint a false picture of the real situation owing to a large number of false negatives.

Status as On: 22nd Nov 2020    
S. No. State Name Total Population Tests Per Lakh
1 KARNATAKA 61130704 16360
2 LADAKH 290492 14769
3 PUDUCHERRY 1244464 14488
4 TAMIL NADU 72138958 13591
5 ASSAM 31169272 13245
6 ODISHA 41947358 13150
7 MIZORAM 1091014 13126
9 DELHI 16753235 11541
10 DAMAN AND DIU 242911 11344
11 UTTARAKHAND 10116752 11280
12 JHARKHAND 32966238 11225
13 GOA 1457723 10926
14 PUNJAB 27704236 10435
15 MANIPUR 2721756 9454
16 HARYANA 25353081 9109
18 TRIPURA 3671032 7632
19 HIMACHAL PRADESH 6856509 7018
20 SIKKIM 607688 6561
21 RAJASTHAN 68621012 5759
22 JAMMU AND KASHMIR 12258433 4961
23 MADHYA PRADESH 72597565 4513
24 CHANDIGARH 1054686 4502
25 ARUNACHAL PRADESH 1382611 4289
26 NAGALAND 1980602 4208
27 CHHATTISGARH 25540196 3772
28 WEST BENGAL 91347736 3201
29 MAHARASHTRA 112372972 2976
30 GUJARAT 60383628 1905
31 KERALA 33387677 894
32 MEGHALAYA 2964007 360
33 TELANGANA 35004000 221
34 UTTAR PRADESH 199581477 No Info
35 BIHAR 103804637 No Info
36 ANDHRA PRADESH 49576777 No Info
37 LAKSHADWEEP 64429 No Info
Source: ICMR      

While Karnataka has 16,360 persons tested for every 1 lakh persons, neighbouring Tamil Nadu has 13,591. Kerala had a much lesser number of people tested at 894 persons tested for every one lakh people. For Maharashtra, the same number stood at 2,976, and the number was the lowest for Telangana with only 221 persons tested for every lakh people. Information was not available for four locations, including Andhra Pradesh.

“Karnataka has done the highest RT PCR tests per lakh population in the country. This is one of the reasons for the control of COVID in Karnataka. One of the ways to avoid a second wave, apart from citizens exercising SMS - Social Distancing, Masking and Sanitization - is to have high daily testing with RT-PCR,”  Munish Moudgil, IAS, Head State War Room told reporters.

“While the government of Karnataka is doing its part by maximising tests, citizens are requested to adhere and obey masking, social distancing and sanitization of hands, etc. The prevention is only in the hands of the citizens by their proper conduct,” he added.

Moudgil said that the increased number of tests over the last few months has paid off, and infections and fatalities have both reduced.

“Press and media can look back and realise that it was a good call Karnataka took despite initial negative reactions for more daily cases by those who failed to see that the increase was due to increased testing while the positivity rate was falling,” Moudgil added.

Speaking with TNM earlier, Dr Giridhar Babu, an epidemiologist and part of the expert committee both in state and the Union government said while Karnataka had done well in increasing the number of overall daily RT-PCR testing, more focus needed to be given to suburban and rural areas now.

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