BENGALURU: Despite a late start, Karnataka has aggressively ramped up its daily-testing capacity crossing the 25-lakh-test milestone and it now stands sixth in the country in tests per million population. Its caseload neared 3 lakh on Tuesday.
A total of 25.1 lakh samples have been tested till August 25 and nearly 7 lakh of them were through rapid-antigen tests and the rest through RT-PCR.
In the tests-per-million ranking, Karnataka was in the 17th position two months ago. From 14,000 tests per million in June, the state has recorded 40,100 tests now, standing far above the national average of 30,100 tests. The states ahead of Karnataka are Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Assam and Tamil Nadu.
State can conduct 50,000 tests a day
A part from implementing the 5T strategy (track, trace, test, treat and technology) to contain the spread and intensity of Covid-19, the state now has 108 labs — 47 government and the rest private — from a mere two in February. With this, the state has a capacity to conduct 50,000 tests a day.
“We conducted 2,309 tests in March. Today, we have cumulatively crossed 25 lakh tests. We have the lowest mortality rate of 1.7%. The state’s recovery rate stands at 68%,’’ said medical education minister K Sudhakar.
Karnataka had performed a total of 10,000 tests till June. In the past two months, testing was comprehensively ramped up, enabling the state to reach the 10-lakh mark. The state has been touching 50,000 daily tests in recent times.
The state took about 150 days to complete 14 lakh tests and logged 6 lakh tests in 30 days, thanks to the procurement of antigen test kits. Shalini Rajneesh, state nodal officer for Covid-19 testing and additional chief secretary, said: “An RTPCR test could take 2-3 days to deliver a result. This is not an issue for asymptomatic persons. For those who are symptomatic, delay could be fatal. People must lose no time in opting for a test. Hiding symtoms could have implications, especially for the aged and those with complaints of heart disease, BP and diabetes.”