Karnataka among highest Covid-testing states in India

Karnataka has conducted 20 lakh coronavirus tests in less than five months to emerge as one of the highest coronavirus-testing states in India, an official said on Wednesday.

“Karnataka has conducted more than 20 lakh Covid tests from March 23 to August 16 (Sunday) and stands as one of the top states conducting maximum number of tests,” the health official added.

Initially, to complete the first one lakh tests, the southern state took nearly 99 days, however, now it takes just two days to test one lakh people, considering more than 50,000 tests were being done in 101 laboratories daily across the state.

“From February to May 2020, Karnataka took nearly 99 days to conduct first one lakh tests, however, at the turnaround time, to conduct one lakh tests takes two days with the establishment of 101 labs across Karnataka,” he said.

Starting with just 2,309 tests in March, the state incrementally raised its testing capability to 55,021 tests in April, followed by 2.4 lakh in May, 3.2 lakh in June, 7.6 lakh in July and 6.8 lakh in the first 16 days of August.

Kidwai Bangalore has emerged as the highest testing government laboratory with 1.05 lakh tests, followed by GIMS Gulbarga (88,323), NIMHANS Bengaluru (81,816), among others.

Among private labs, Neuberg Anand has conducted the maximum number of tests which is 69,897, followed by Syngene (42,769), Xcyton (39,989), KMC Manipal (26,626), among others.

“All private labs have conducted 4.5 lakh tests till August 16,” added the official.

By Tuesday, Karnataka had tested 21.3 lakh people for Covid, comprising 5.5 lakh rapid-antigen detection tests and 15.8 lakh RT-PCR and other methods of testing.

Though the health official shared information from March 23 to August 16, the first Covid positive case in the state occurred on March 8, when an IT employee returning from overseas tested Covid positive.

Covid cases are spiking in Karnataka, rising by 7,000 infections on an average daily to reach 2.4 lakh, of which 79,782 are active.