Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar, on Thursday, said that over 3 crore COVID-19 tests have been conducted in the state since the pandemic broke out last year. “Karnataka has cumulatively conducted 3,01,49,275 COVID-19 tests till Wednesday since March 8, 2020, when the pandemic broke out in the state,” Sudhakar said in a statement. The cumulative tests include 51,27,867 Rapid Antigen detection tests and 2,50,21,408 RT-PCR tests, besides other methods, during the last 15 months.
On the all-India COVID-19 tracker of the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry dashboard, Karnataka ranks second after Maharashatra on many indicators, including the total number of infections (26,53,446) and deaths (30,531) till Thursday. According to the data, the state ranked top in the number of active cases — 2,86,798 across the country as on Thursday. "Of the total tests carried out in the state, 82% are through RT-PCR method in 196 ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) approved labs across the state," said Sudhakar, a medical doctor by profession. Out of 196 labs in the state, 128 are private and 68 are state-run.
In the first five months of this year (2021), 1,59,53,210 tests were conducted across the state, including 14,01,064 rapid antigen and 1,45,52,146 through RT-PCR. In 10 months from March to December 31, 2020, 1,41,96,065 tests were conducted, including 37,26,803 through rapid antigen and 1,04,69,262 through RT-PCR, the government said
"With cases surging by the day, swab collection centres were ramped up to 2,642, including 2,176 of the government and 466 of the private to track, test and treat," recalled Sudhakar.
Mobile swab collection centres comprising lab technologists and data entry operators were also set up to meet the sample target. "The total RT-PCR testing capacity of the labs is 1,78,950 per day, with 1,03,900 in state-run labs and 75,050 in private labs," added Sudhakar.