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Why is India testing so little of dangerous corona virus

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Why is India testing so little of dangerous corona virus

We have a simple message to all countries – test, test, test,” World Health Organisation (WHO) head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva earlier this week. The jury is out on this one. India had tested some 14,175 people in 72 state-run labs as of Thursday evening – one of the lowest testing rates in the world. The reason: the country has limited testing. So, only people who have been in touch with an infected person or those who have travelled to high-risk countries, or health workers managing patients with severe respiratory disease and developing Covid


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Why is a densely populated country with more than a billion people testing so little? The official assumption is the disease has still not spread in the community. As early “evidence” health authorities say 826 samples collected from patients suffering from acute respiratory disease from 50 government hospitals across India between 1 and 15 March tested negative for coronavirus. Also, hospitals have not yet reported a spike in admissions of respiratory distress cases


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On the other hand, say virologists, random, on-demand testing will create panic and completely strain the feeble public health infrastructure. Increased and targeted “sentinel screening” of patients suffering from influenza and diagnoses in hospitals across the country can provide a better idea of whether there is community transmission, they say. “We need focused testing. We cannot do a China or Korea because we simply don’t have the capacity,” a senior virologist told me