Six months into a pandemic and well into its sixth iteration, India’s Covid-19 testing strategy is still a work in progress.
As of 5 September, India had conducted over 49 million tests for the virus. What this massive figure obscures, however, is which tests have allowed the country to ramp up its testing numbers. The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR)—the government body spearheading the Covid-19 response—released an app to every testing centre and lab to register every test conducted. But the breakup of what sort of testing has been done is not in the public domain.
India’s 49 million Covid tests hide more than they reveal
India's testing ramp up hides a worrying truth—the number of less accurate antigen tests is increasing even as the number of 'gold standard' RT-PCR tests are tumbling down
India’s daily Covid-19 testing numbers have almost doubled over the last month—from 660,000 to 1.17 million
At the same time, India’s positivity rate has plummeted. From 12.37% in the final week of July to 7.52% on 4 September
This should mean that India is getting the pandemic under control. The data authorities aren’t willing to share, though, paint a different picture
One where a huge number of Covid-positive patients slip through the testing net, even as states and the Centre turn a blind eye