As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to multiply, the Central government announced on Friday that the capacity for testing Coronavirus has been increased in the country.
"The capacity of testing has been up-scaled through 146 government labs, 67 private labs with more than 16,000 collection centres. Further, rapid diagnostic kits have been sanctioned and guidelines for usage have been issued and orders have already been placed," an official statement read.
Further, considering the urgent requirement for medical equipment, the Centre has also exempted the Basic Customs Duty and Health tax on the import of the vital goods such as ventilators, face masks, surgical masks, personal protection equipment (PPE), COVID-19 test kits and inputs for manufacturing these items.
The Union Health Ministry on Friday informed that it had reached its peak of testing since the pandemic has gripped the country as it stated that on Thursday it conducted 16,002 tests in a day. Health Secretary Lav Aggarwal also pointed out another positive as he mentioned that out of the 16,002 tests conducted only 2% of those tested were positive. In the press briefing on Friday, ICMR also informed that so far 1,44,910 samples have been tested and out of these, 5,705 samples have tested positive.
In its daily briefing, the Health Ministry informed that it has already sanctioned rapid diagnostic kits and at present, there are 39 manufacturers of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) in the country. This comes after it was reported that there is a shortage of PPEs for the healthcare workers in the country. Highlighting the distribution of N-95 masks to the states, Health Secretary Lav Aggarwal said that the states have now been provided with 20 lakh masks. "We have also placed an order of 49,000 ventilators," the Ministry added.
The total COVID-19 positive cases in the country witnessed another single-day jump, taking the tally to 6,872.
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(With inputs from agencies)