Over 16 lakh samples tested till date: Data from south states, Maharashtra

As per ICMR's bulletins, around 85,824 samples were tested in the past 24 hours.
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India has ramped up testing since the lockdown was announced on March 24, which has now been extended to May 17. 

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, a total of 16,09,037 samples have been tested as of 9 am of May 10. No further data was provided. As per ICMR's bulletins, around 85,824 samples were tested in 24 hours, from 9 am on May 9 to 9 am on May 10.

Here are the state-wise numbers as of 11 am on May 10:

— Andhra Pradesh has tested 1,65,069 samples out of which 1,63,139 were negative. As on May 10, the state has a total of 1,930 cases, with 887 recoveries and 44 deaths. 

— Kerala has tested 36,648 samples so far and of these, 36,002 have returned negative. The state currently has 505 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 485 recoveries and 4 deaths.

— Tamil Nadu has tested 2,29,670 samples so far, with 6,535 people testing positive. 2,22,576 samples were tested negative and results of 559 samples are awaited. 10,264 samples are repeat samples. 1,824 people have recovered and 27 people have died due to the disease.

—Telangana had been providing sample numbers till April 30. However, the updated numbers since then are not known. A total of 1,163 people have tested positive so far, with 751 recoveries. The state has recorded 30 deaths so far.

— Karnataka has tested 1,03,098 samples, with 794 people testing positive and 97,326 samples returning negative. The state has recorded 30 COVID-19 deaths, while 386 persons have recovered. 

— Maharashtra has tested 2,27,804 laboratory samples, out of which 2,06,481 were negative and 20,228 have been tested positive. 779 people have died from the disease in the state, while 3800 have recovered.  

Public health experts have called for wider testing to check for community transmission of COVID-19. The Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) testing strategy has now been expanded and all symptomatic patients with influenza-like illness (ILI) - those with fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose - need to be tested in hotspots/clusters (identified by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare) and in large migration gatherings/ evacuees centres. Symptomatic ILI patients will have to be tested within seven days of presenting with the illness.

Earlier, the guidelines limited testing to those who have international travel history and are symptomatic; those who have contact history with a confirmed COVID-19 case and have symptoms of the virus; healthcare workers who are symptomatic; patients hospitalised with Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI); and a direct or high-risk contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case who can be symptomatic or asymptomatic.

Presently, only the RT-PCR or the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test can detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. However, ICMR has allowed places that are hotspots (high number of cases) to test residents using the rapid antibody kits, which can deliver results within 30-45 minutes as opposed to 24 hours that an RT-PCR test. However, a positive result by the rapid antibody test will have to be further tested by the RT-PCR test to confirm for the novel coronavirus. ICMR advises those with a negative result by the rapid antibody test to be home quarantined.  

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