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A surge in coronavirus cases in India

Image Credit: EPS/Madhav K

Over the past 24 hours, India reported 37,140 cases and 587 deaths. This new surge has prompted the India’s top medical research body, the Indian Council for Medical Research, to pressure the government to build more labs and also increase the testing capacity of the approved labs.

India has 136 government laboratories and 56 private laboratories with a total testing capacity of 18,000 tests per day. A former health secretary, K Sujatha Rao, said ‘India’s (coronavirus) strategy was conservative and limited to only those persons with a travel history or connected to such individuals. We have gone up from 5 per million one month back to about 30 now.’

‘Unless we test much more, we will never know the actual extent of the problem and understand whether our interventions are adequate or falling short.’

In the past few weeks, India has experienced localized surges, forcing the government to impose localized lockdowns in areas considered high risk to curb the spread of the virus.

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