India’s COVID-19 testing strategy will help control future spurt of infection, says GlobalData

Several countries globally are now going through a second wave of COVID-19 infection. India is ranked second in terms of the confirmed COVID-19 cases globally. However, India has drastically ramped up its COVID-19 testing capacity, which will help it control future spurts of infection or future waves, says GlobalData, a leading data analytics and research company.

India, which reached the two million overall testing milestone on 14 May 2020, achieved the one million daily testing milestone on 21 August. India now has the capacity to conduct 1.5 million daily tests. As of 17 November, the country conducted more than 120 million tests, the third-highest cumulative testing after China and the US. However, India’s per million testing stands at more than 91,000, which is still less than developed countries.

According to GlobalData’s ‘Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pharma Executive Briefing – November 10, 2020’, India conducted more than 7.8 million tests between 03 November and 10 November, which is highest among all countries for that timespan.

Prashant Khadayate, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “India is relying on testing as a crucial tool to control the spread of infection as part of its Test, Track, and Treat strategy for early identification of cases and to limit transmission to others. With enhanced testing, India’s overall positivity rate is also decreasing, which clearly shows that testing will play a crucial role until vaccines are available.”

According to GlobalData’s COVID-19 dashboard, as of 17 November 2020, India has 8,845,127 confirmed cases, and the dashboard forecasts 33,473,349 confirmed cases in a low transmission risk scenario by 29 November 2020.

Testing is being focused on symptomatic individuals, symptomatic or asymptomatic and high-risk contacts (in family and workplace, elderly ≥ 65 years of age, immunocompromised, those with co-morbidities, etc.) of laboratory-confirmed cases.

Mr Khadayate concludes: “Considering the start of winter and festival season, India should be well prepared to face rapid growth in the spread of COVID-19 or a second wave of infection. It is pleasing that India has already ramped up daily testing capacity, which will really help it to contain the infection to the best possible extent.”

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