Karnataka has a better testing/ million population than the national average.

patient sits on a bed while a person with PPE addresses him in the background are two others watching themPTI, Representative image
Coronavirus Coronavirus Monday, May 11, 2020 - 08:51

Karnataka Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar on Saturday had announced that the state has surpassed the ‘landmark’ of 1 lakh tests for COVID-19 since March 8 when the first case was detected in the state. A total of 1,07,311 samples have been tested so far, out of which 5,068 were tested on Saturday alone, the state health department said in its bulletin on Sunday evening.

With the “landmark” of 1 lakh tests reached, here’s a look at how other Indian states are faring.

Among neighbouring states, only Kerala (36,648) has reported a lesser number of tests so far while the number of tests done in Telangana is not known as the numbers have not been made public.

While Tamil Nadu has tested 2,29,670 samples, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra have done 1,65,069 and 2,27,804 tests respectively. However, experts have noted that the test numbers should ideally be compared in terms of tests done with respect to how large the population of the state or country is.

Speaking on this, Dr CN Manjunth, state nodal officer for testing, said, “Random testing has to be done both in containment zones and also green zones. If we can do a substantial number of random tests in green zones and if they come back negative, then we can open up those areas fully. Otherwise, if there are random tests in which results come back as positive, it might suggest that community transmission has taken place. So there is no alternative to testing a significant part of the population. Considering all this, we are not doing bad and we will significantly improve by month-end.”

Tests/ million

Among large Indian states with populations of over 1 crore, Karnataka stands eighth in the count of tests done per million of population. While Delhi is the best with 5027 persons tested per million, Karnataka has tested 1687 persons per million.

Andhra Pradesh (3330/million), Jammu and Kashmir (2495/million), Tamil Nadu (2423/million), Rajasthan (1967/million), Maharashtra (1870/million) and Gujarat (1816/million) are the other states with better testing ratio.

India as a whole now has a testing rate of 1263 per million.

Upscaling daily tests

A target of daily 10,000 tests was set earlier with Pankaj Kumar Pandey, the Commissioner of Health and Family Welfare Department saying the state was on course to do the same by May-end.

So far, the highest number of daily tests was done on May 3 with 5168 samples tested and since then, the highest daily test count was achieved on Sunday, May 10.

Reiterating the state government’s stand, Dr V Ravi, a virologist with Bengaluru-based National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (Nimhans) said gradually the tests will pick up from the end of the month.

“There is no shortage of test kits and the government is in the process of acquiring more test kits so that we can reach the 10,000 mark on a daily basis. Also, in terms of labs, we have a high number so there is no shortage of capacity. Along with the private labs, we have a total of 62 testing centres,” he said.

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