India conducted 2.39 crore COVID-19 tests in August, of which 1.24 crore were done using rapid antigen kits, the government said on Sunday. Till September 18, a total of 6,17,33,533 tests were conducted across the country, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey said in the Rajya Sabha.
He said 2,39,66,859 tests were conducted in August, 1,05, 32,288 in July, 49,93,422 in June, 29,37,284 in May, 8,64,517 in April and 33,330 in March.
"In March, only RT-PCR testing centres were available. Later, cartridge-based tests were approved by ICMR like Truenat, CBNAAT, Abbott and Roche. In the month of June, rapid antigen kits were approved by ICMR for testing," the minister said in a written reply.
"The number of COVID-19 tests conducted in August using rapid antigen kits is 1,24,17,396," Choubey said.
The Ministry of Health has followed a graded approach and is advising states to expand COVID-19 dedicated hospital infrastructure. The states are also advised to plan for the requisite number of isolation, oxygen supported and ICU beds based on the prevalent and expected case growth rate, he said.
As on September 18, 15,446 COVID treatment facilities with 13,32,225 dedicated isolation beds without oxygen support have been created.
Besides, 2,32,665 oxygen supported isolation beds and 64,285 ICU beds, including 32,609 ventilator beds, were created, Choubey replied to another question.
Guidelines on clinical management of COVID-19 have been issued and are being updated regularly. States are being supported in terms of supply of logistics, the minister said.
So far, 1.41 crore of PPE Kits, 3.44 crore N-95 masks, 10.84 crore tablets of hydroxychloroquine, 30,796 ventilators and 1,02,400 oxygen cylinders have been supplied to states, union territories and central government hospitals.