More than one lakh COVID-19 tests were done in Uttar Pradesh on July 26 as against just 72 on March 23, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said after the launch of a high-tech testing facility in Noida.
He said Uttar Pradesh accounted for six per cent of the 6,000 tests conducted daily across the country in April and by July that figure rose to 15 per cent and his government aims to take that to 20 per cent soon, according to an official statement.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched three such ICMR facilities in Noida, Kolkata and Mumbai via video-conference that are able to test more than 10,000 COVID-19 samples daily.
Mr Adityanath, who attended the virtual event along with he chief ministers from Maharashtra and West Bengal, expressed gratitude to the prime minister for the initiative, which he said would help speed up tests and also safeguard lab technicians from contracting the infection.
"Uttar Pradesh, under the guidance of the prime minister, is rapidly ramping up COVID-19 tests. On July 26, 1,06,000 COVID-19 tests were done in Uttar Pradesh as against just 72 on March 23. Tests are being done in the state via the RT-PCR, TrueNAT and antigen-based techniques," he added.
At present, 40,000 RT-PCR tests are being done daily in Uttar Pradesh, while 56,000 are done by the rapid antigen-based technique and 10,000 by TrueNat technique, he said.
The chief minister said technicians are also being trained continuously with the help of Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and King George Medical University (KGMU) to ensure quality in tests.
He also thanked PM Modi for providing through the ICMR a COBAS machine to Moti Lal Nehru (MLN) Medical College in Allahabad. He said the state government had set up a COVID care fund in the wake of the pandemic outbreak.
"This fund is being used to set up RT-PCR labs in every medical college and zonal headquarter of the state," the chief minister said, according to the statement.
The state's COVID care fund is being used to procure COBAS machine for KGMU and SGPGI in Lucknow and BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur which will boost the testing capacities at these places, he added.
Earlier, speaking at the launch, PM Modi said India is in a much better position than other countries in the fight against COVID-19 as a result of "right decisions taken at the right time" and asserted that the country has expanded its health infrastructure at a rapid pace to deal with the pandemic.
The deaths due to the coronavirus in India are much lower than many big countries, he said.
Noting that India's recovery rate is also higher than other countries and is improving on a daily basis, PM Modi said the total number of people who have recovered from the virus is about to reach the 10 lakh mark.
Union Health Minsiter Harsh Vardhan described the launch of the ICMR facilities in Noida, Kolkata and Mumbai as "historic". "Testing laboratories and facilities are being set up across the country in large numbers and work is underway to establish labs in every district," Mr Vardhan said, according to the statement.