“Mass testing is the key to fighting Crona-Covid-19, we are nowhere in the game,” Rahul, Priyanka
NEW DELHI : Congress leaders Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi on Tuesday demanded the government scale up testing for coronavirus substantially, saying the country is testing only 149 persons per million.
Accusing the government of dropping the ball on purchasing test kits on time, the Congress leader said India’s testing was in the league of nations like Laos, Niger and Honduras.
“India delayed the purchase of testing kits & is now critically short of them,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted. “With just 149 tests per million Indians, we are now in the company of Laos (157), Niger (182) & Honduras (162),” said Rahul Gandhi. He said mass testing is the key to fighting the virus.
With just 149 tests per million Indians, we are now in the company of Laos (157), Niger (182) & Honduras (162). Mass testing is the key to fighting the virus. At present we are nowhere in the game (sic),” Mr Gandhi said.
Party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, too, criticized the government for the low rate of testing, alleging that the reports of two persons came only after they had died. “I have written to the UP Chief Minister to expand the testing facility,” Priyanka Gandhi said.
The Congress has said that from February 1 till April 13, only 217,553 tests have been conducted, which means 3,021 tests per day and asked the government to enhance testing.
The total number of cases in India is 10,363, according to the data published by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday. Of these 8,988 are active cases of COVID-19, 1,035 individuals have recovered and discharged, one person migrated to another country and 339 people succumbed to the disease.
Maharashtra remained the worst hit state with a total number of positive cases rising to 2,334, followed by Delhi which reported 1,510 cases and Tamil Nadu which has reported 1,173 cases, according to the Health Ministry data.
The opposition leader’s remark came as latest government data showed the number of people infected with coronavirus in India had reached 10,363, with 339 deaths. Although the numbers are small compared with hard-hit Western nations, health experts fear that is because of India’s low levels of testing, and actual infection levels could be far higher.
Lacking testing kits and protective gear for medical workers, India had only tested just over 2 lakh individuals as of 9 pm Monday according to data from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The figure that Mr Gandhi quoted put India far behind Italy which has conducted 15,935 tests per million people and United States at 8,138.
Health experts have warned that widespread contagion could be disastrous in a country where millions live in dense slums and the health care system is overstretched. So far, more than three-quarters of India’s cases are concentrated in about 80 of the country’s more than 700 districts, including New Delhi and Mumbai.
(With Agency Inputs ).