New Delhi, March 29 (IANS) With the number of Covid-19 cases rising, the government has allowed 47 private labs across the country to conduct tests.
Addressing the media here, R. Ganga Ketkar of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said, “Till today (Sunday) we have conducted 34,931 tests. The ICMR network’s capacity utilisation is around 30 per cent. We have increased the number of labs. 113 have been made functional and 47 more private labs approved.”
The ICMR has allowed 10 private labs to conduct the tests in Maharashtra, eight each in Delhi and Telangana, five in Haryana, four each in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, two each in Kerala and West Bengal and one each in UP and Odisha.
According to a statement by ICMR, the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research, as on March 27 the number of approved government laboratories stands at 122. Of this, 113 labs are operational and the remaining 9 are in the process.
According to the Union Health Ministry on Sunday, the Covid-19 toll has risen to 25 and number of cases to 979. “In the last 24 hours, 106 new positive cases and 6 deaths from 6 states have been reported,” said Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry.
On March 23, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his second special address to the nation announced 21-day nationwide lockdown — till April 14 — to stop the spread of Covid-19.