COVID-19: ICMR ramps up testing citing massive influx of migrants

Covid 19 sample with microscope and holding coronavirus covid 19 blood sample tube on hand in laboratory

ICMR recommended to ramp up the testing for COVID-19

Taking into consideration the current massive movement of migrants and their return to home states, Union Health Ministry and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recommended to ramp up the testing for COVID-19.

States of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha and West Bengal are seeing the majority of their migrant workers returning ever since the relaxation was offered post lockdown 3.0 and has further ramped up post Shramik Express trains were operational. ICMR has admitted that states need to ramp up their testing capacity to avoid any backlogs.

ICMR is working with states to speed up the testing capacity as well as the facilities for coronavirus.

ICMR elaborated that the testing capacity in the country has been increased from 1.4 lakh per day to 2 lakh samples per day.

As of Tuesday noon, the total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus had reached 1,46,371 that included the active cases tally of 81,022. The recovered cases in India has reached 61,151 while 4,187 are deceased.

“So far, we have scaled up with 15 testing laboratories in Bihar, 17 in Odisha, 28 in Uttar Pradesh and 36 in West Bengal. This has been paired with supplies of testing materials to all the States and the UTs. We are using indigenous vendors and manufacturers to produce swabs for sample collection, RNA extraction kits and RT-PCR diagnostic material,” reported a senior official at ICMR regarding the preparedness of states facing massive return of migrant workers.

The country now has 610 laboratories, out of which 432 are public and 178 are privately operated.

Keeping in mind the current research work on the virus and updated information regarding the nature of coronavirus, tests have been increased manifold across India to include migrant workers, international returnees and frontline works.

Currently, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have the highest number of laboratories testing for COVID-19 followed by Karnataka.

Migrant workers movement has ramped up since the operation of Shramik Express trains started which are ferrying thousands of workers every day.

About Dr. Neha Mathur

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