India testing 1.2 lakh COVID-19 samples daily, far from peak in cases: ICMR

New Delhi [India], June 2 (ANI): Over one lakh samples are being tested every day to detect coronavirus infection, said the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Tuesday, adding that India is far from the peak of COVID-19.

"ICMR is focusing on to increase COVID-19 testing capacity. As of June 1, we have 681 laboratories that are approved for conducting COVID-19 tests -- 476 government and 205 private labs. Today, we are conducting 1.20 lakh tests every day," said Nivedita Gupta, ICMR scientist, at a press conference here.

Talking about the transmission of the virus, she said: "Instead of the use of 'community transmission', we need to understand the extent of the spread of the disease. We are far from the peak. Our measures to curtail the disease are effective. India has been very good in the reduction in mortality."

Gupta said: "We are also using indigenous platforms for ramping up COVID-19 testing capacity. Truenat screening and confirmatory tests have now been validated. The outreach of testing has hence been increased since this is available at primary health centres and districts too."

Gupta further said that Indian RNA extraction kits are now available in a good number.

"RT-PCR kits are provided by 11-12 indigenous vendors, which are now being used. We are now in a comfortable position thanks to the identification and hand-holding of domestic players," she said.

Gupta informed that the ICMR is conducting a serological survey to assess the extent of spread of COVID-19.

"Almost 34,000 people are being tested as a part of the survey. The results will be published in a week," she said.

The Centre on Tuesday said that India's fatality rate due to coronavirus is 2.82 per cent, which is one of the lowest in the world.

"The fatality rate due to COVID-19 in our country is 2.82 per cent, which is one of the lowest in the world," said Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry, during the press conference.

"Only 10 per cent of India's population accounts for 50 per cent of the country's COVID-19 linked deaths. 73 per cent of COVID-19 deaths in India are people with co-morbidities," he said.

"It is a wrong comparison to look at the total number of COVID-19 cases only and mention that India is seventh in terms of the number of cases," he said.

The Joint Secretary said that our population should also be considered. Fourteen countries having a similar population as India have reported 22.5 times more cases and 55.2 times deaths," he added.

Agarwal said that the recovery rate is continuously improving.

"A total of 95,527 patients have been cured of COVID-19; 3,708 have recovered in the last 24 hours. Recovery rate is now 48.07 per cent, up from 11.42 per cent on April 15," he said.

The recovery rate on May 18 was 38.29 per cent. On May 3, it was 26.59 per cent. On April 15, it was 11.42 per cent.

Agarwal further said: "Our COVID-19 fatality rate of 2.82 per cent is among the lowest in the world as compared to the global fatality rate of 6.13 per cent."

"We have been able to achieve this due to the timely identification of cases and proper clinical management. Our case fatality rate per lakh population too (of 0.41) is among the lowest in the world, while there are countries with a figure as high as 62 and 82," he said.

India on Tuesday reported 8,171 more COVID-19 cases and 204 deaths in the last 24 hours as the country's virus count inched closer to two lakh, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The total number of cases in the country now stands at 1,98,706 including 97,581 active cases, 95,527 cured/discharged/migrated and 5,598 deaths. (ANI)