India has achieved the milestone of conducting 40 crore COVID-19 tests, with the average of more than 18 lakh tests per day in the month of June, the ICMR said on Saturday.
India has tested 40,18,11,892 samples across the country till Friday, it said.
The country tested 35 crore COVID-19 samples till June 1, 2021.
"This has been enabled by rapidly increasing testing infrastructure and capacity across the country. ICMR has been enhancing COVID-19 testing capability across the country by expanding and diversifying testing capacity by leveraging technology and facilitating innovation in affordable diagnostic kits," the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said in a statement.
Prof Balram Bhargava, Director General, ICMR said exponential increase in testing has led to early identification, prompt isolation and effective treatment of COVID-19 cases.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
These have eventually resulted in a sustained low fatality rate.
"This testing milestone is testimony to the fact that India has been successful in implementing the strategy of 5T approach "Test, Track, Trace, Treat and use of Technology" efficiently, which will enable us to contain the spread of the pandemic," the statement quoted Bhargava as saying.