Over 3.3 lakh samples tested in India till date: Data from south states, Maharashtra

Ghughuti Bulletin


31,083 samples were reported on April 17, of which 1,443 were positive for SARS-CoV-2.

India has ramped up testing since the 21-day lockdown was announced on March 24, which has now been extended to May 3. 

According to ICMR’s 9 pm bulletin on April 17, a total of 3,35,123 samples have been tested from 3,18,449 individuals, and 14,098 individuals have been confirmed positive in India. 

31,083 samples were reported on April 17, of which 1,443 were positive for SARS-CoV-2.

Here are the state-wise numbers as of 10.30 am on April 18:

— Andhra Pradesh has tested 17,559 samples. The state has 572 positive cases, 14 COVID-19 deaths, and 36 persons who have recovered. 

— Kerala has tested 18,029 samples so far, with 396 people testing positive. The state has recorded 3 COVID-19 deaths, while 255 persons have recovered. 

— Tamil Nadu has tested 29,673 samples so far, with 1,323 people testing positive. The state has recorded 15 COVID-19 deaths, while 283 persons have recovered. 

— Telangana has not provided numbers regarding samples tested. The state has 766 positive cases, 18 COVID-19 deaths and 186 persons who have recovered. 

— Karnataka has collected 21,636 samples, with 359 people testing positive. The state has recorded 13 COVID-19 deaths, while 82 persons have recovered. 

— Maharashtra has tested 61,740 samples, with 3,320 testing positive. The state has recorded 201 COVID-19 deaths, while 331 people 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 been expanded. It announced on April 9 that it will be testing 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, as of April 2, 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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