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 18,54,250samples have been tested as of 9 am of May 13. No further data was provided. As per ICMR's bulletins, around 94,671 samples were tested in 24 hours, from 9 am on May 12 to 9 am on May 13.
Here are the state-wise numbers as of 10 am on May 13:
â€” Andhra Pradesh has tested 1,91,874 samples out of which 1,89,823 were negative. As on May 12, the state has a total of 2,051 cases, with 1,056 recoveries and 46 deaths.
â€” Kerala has tested 38,547 samples so far and of these, 37,727 have returned negative. The state currently has 525 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 489 recoveries and 4 deaths.
â€” Tamil Nadu has tested 2,66,687 samples so far, with 8,718 people testing positive. 2,56,720 samples were tested negative and results of 1,249 samples are awaited. 2,134 people have recovered and 61 people have died due to the disease.
â€”Telangana had been providing sample numbers till April 30. However, the updated numbers since then are not known. A total of 1,326 people have tested positive so far, with 822 recoveries. The state has recorded 32 deaths so far.
â€” Karnataka has tested 1,16,533 samples, with 925 people testing positive and 1,11,264 samples returning negative. The state has recorded 31 COVID-19 deaths, while 433 persons have recovered.
â€” Maharashtra has tested 2,21,645 laboratory samples, out of which 1,95,804 were negative and 24,427 have tested positive. 921 people have died from the disease in the state, while 5,125 have recovered.
Public health experts have called for wider testing to check for community transmission of COVID-19. The Indian Council of Medical Researchâ€™s (ICMR) testing strategy has 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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