Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched three high throughput COVID-19 testing facilities in Noida, Mumbai and Kolkata via video conferencing. The Prime Minister said these hi-tech testing facilities will boost the testing capacity by almost 10,000 daily tests in each of the three cities.
"More number of tests will assist early detection and treatment, thereby helping fight the spread of the virus. These labs will not be limited to testing for COVID, but in future, will also be able to test for Hepatitis B and C, HIV, Dengue and several other diseases," said PM Modi.
These new testing facilities have been strategically set up at ICMR-National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research, Noida; ICMR-National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health, Mumbai; and ICMR-National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Kolkata. These facilities will be able to test over 10,000 samples in a day. These labs are expected to reduce turn-around-time and exposure of lab personnel to infectious clinical materials.
The Prime Minister said that India had only one COVID testing centre in January; the number has increased to almost 1,300 by now. Currently, more than 5 lakh tests are being conducted in the country daily, and efforts are underway to increase this capacity to 10 lakh in the coming weeks, he added.
Talking about PPE kits and bodysuits designed to protect against coronavirus infection, Modi said that the country has become the second largest manufacturer in the segment. He said the country has progressed from not having even a single PPE kit manufacturer as recently as six months ago, to having more than 1,200 manufacturers now, who are producing more than 5 lakh such kits daily.
He also highlighted that once dependent on imports, the country now produces more than 3 lakh N-95 masks daily, annual production capacity of ventilators has become 3 lakh, and there has also been a significant increase in the production of medical oxygen cylinders. This has not only helped save lives but has also converted India from an importer to an exporter.
PM Modi said that it was imperative for the country to develop corona-specific health infrastructure at a fast pace. He noted that the Centre had announced a package of Rs 15,000 crore at the beginning of this battle. The country now has more than 11,000 COVID facilities and more than 11 lakh isolation beds.
Talking about efforts to contain the spread in rural areas, Modi emphasised on the need to develop new health infrastructure as well as boost the already existing health infrastructure facilities in villages.
He said that due to timely decisions taken by the government, India is better placed compared to other countries in terms of deaths due to COVID-19. The recovery rate is also higher than other countries and is improving on a daily basis. The total number of people who have recovered from the virus is about to reach 10 lakh.
India reported 49,931 fresh cases in last one day, with total tally crossing the 14 lakh-mark to 14,35,453. The death toll climbed to 32,771 with 708 new fatalities in the last 24 hours till Monday at 8 am, according to the Union Health Ministry data. India's recovery tally stands at 9,17,568 and there are a total of 4,85,114 active cases. The recovery rate has touched a new high of 64 per cent, while the fatality from coronavirus currently stands at 2.3 per cent as compared to global average of about 4 per cent.