Anand Mahindra, the Chairman of Mahindra and Mahindra Group, has asked the government to allow the private sector to start testing for coronavirus. Currently, the government has only established 62 testing facilities for COVID-19.
Mahindra, in a tweet, said, "India has done a fine job, so far, of managing the crisis. Preemptive measures for containment have been lauded the world over." Mahindra mentioned that the testing rate for coronavirus could be India's "Achilles Heel". He then requested the government to allow the private sector to begin testing for coronavirus as this would drastically increase the capacity and number of test centers.
India has done a fine job, so far, of managing the crisis. Preemptive measures for containment have been lauded the world over. But our testing rate could be our Achilles heel. We need to allow the pvt sector to begin testing & scale up our capacity dramatically. @drharshvardhanpic.twitter.com/iNq0RWDX6O- anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) March 18, 2020
Attached to Mahindra's tweet was a graph, which showed that India has conducted the least number of tests per million population when compared to other countries such as Italy, France, and the UK. Mahindra pointed out that Taiwan, which is a neighbour of China, has conducted a lot more tests per million population than India even though the number of cases in Taiwan is less than in India.
Each test center in India is catering to a large population in India. Uttar Pradesh, which has the highest population of any state in India only has three test centers. According to ICMR, each of these COVID-19 facilities is serving around 77 million people in UP. In Bihar, only one test center is there for a population of 122 million.
The total number of COVID-19 positive cases have now crossed the 150-mark in India. Three people have already died because of the coronavirus. Across the world, around 196,00 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed. Over 7,800 lives have already been lost due to the deadly virus.