Why Has Testing Reduced in India?

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I have been doing Data Analytics Studies on the Coronavirus Pandemic for 74 days and have written 129 research-based blog posts on COVID-19 in these 74 days.

After being very slow in testing people for the COVID-19, India started ramping up testing from the beginning of May. An average of 77,884 tests per day were conducted in the first 10 days of May. This went up to an average of 90,335 tests per day in the 10 days from May 11 to 20. From May 19 to 24 (both days inclusive), an average of 106,772 tests were conducted per day, with a peak of 115,364 tests on May 23 (last Saturday).

So the question is, why were only 90,170 tests conducted on May 25 (Monday) and again only 92,528 on May 26 (Tuesday)? The number of tests conducted have a direct relationship with the number of positive cases reported. Because India conducted a peak of 115,364 tests on May 23, it reported a peak of 7,111 new cases on May 24 – assuming there will be a day’s gap between when a test is conducted and the result is reported. Did the government panic on seeing the 7,111 new cases on May 24, especially when lockdown restrictions were being gradually lifted?

In the 28 countries which have reported a minimum of 30,000 COVID-19 cases – excluding China because no testing data has been available for that country for over 3 months – an average of 18,192 tests per million (TPM) residents have been conducted. This means that 1.82% of the 3.3 billion residents of these 28 countries have been tested.

UAE has tested almost 21% of its residents. OK, one can argue that UAE is a small country with a population of under 10 million. Then how about this? Spain (population 46.753 million) has tested over 7.6% of its residents, Russia (145.927 million) over 6.4%, Italy (60.472 million) over 5.8%, UK (67.843 million) over 5.4%, USA (330.769 million) over 4.7%, Germany (83.752 million) over 4.4%, Turkey (84.228 million) over 2.2%, France (65.256 million) over 2.2%, Brazil (212.377 million) over 1.5%, and Iran (83.86 million) has tested over 1% of its residents.

In comparison, India has only tested 0.235% of its residents. Let’s face it, India will never be able to catch up with the average of the 28 countries as most of them are highly developed countries. However, to reach the testing velocity of even Iran, India has to clear a backlog of 10.836 million tests. To do this even in a 90-day timeframe, as Iran is conducting about 225 TPM per day, India has to conduct a total of 430,534 tests per day over the next 90 days.

Then where is the question of averaging just 91,000–107,000 tests per day? I sincerely hope that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is listening!!!

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LATEST UPDATES (at 3:00 pm UTC):

  • The world has crossed 5.722 million cases
  • The Top 20 countries have together crossed 4.794 million cases, which equals more than 5 out of every 6 cases worldwide
  • The global death toll is over 353,500
  • India has crossed 154,820 cases and 4,406 deaths as per covid19india.org
  • In terms of rank in no. of cases, India is at No.10 (up from No.22 on April 14)
  • India’s Maharashtra state, with 54,758 cases, would rank No.20 in the world if it were a country (up from No.44 on April 24)
  • Chile overtook Saudi Arabia to reach No.15 rank in cases
  • Bangladesh overtook Ecuador to reach No.23 rank in cases
  • 10 countries have crossed 150,000 cases (up from 1 on April 3)
  • 12 countries have crossed 100,000 cases (up from 3 on April 3)
  • 19 countries have crossed 50,000 cases (up from 8 on April 3)
  • 29 countries have crossed 25,000 cases (up from 11 on April 3)
  • 43 countries have crossed 15,000 cases (up from 16 on April 16)
  • 49 countries have crossed 10,000 cases (up from 23 on April 16)
  • 60 countries have crossed 7,500 cases (up from 26 on April 16)
  • 65 countries have crossed 5,000 cases (up from 20 on April 16)

  • USA became the first country to cross 100,000 deaths
  • 5 countries have crossed 25,000 deaths (up from 0 on April 3)
  • 12 countries have crossed 5,000 deaths (up from 5 on April 3)
  • 19 countries have crossed 2,500 deaths (up from 7 on April 3)
  • 26 countries have crossed 1,000 deaths (up from 10 on April 3)
  • 38 countries have crossed 500 deaths (up from 16 on April 16)

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