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CORONAVIRUS CASUALTIES (June 1):- GLOBAL:- Total Cases: 62,94,321; Total Deaths: 3,74,417 BELGIUM:- Total Cases: 58,517; Total Deaths: 9,486 BRAZIL:- Total Cases: 5,14,992; Total deaths: 29,341 CANADA:- Total Cases: 90,947; Total Deaths: 7,295 CHINA:- Total Cases: 83,017 ; Total Deaths: 4,635 FRANCE:- Total Cases: 1,88,882; Total Deaths: 28,802 GERMANY:- Total Cases: 1,83,515; Total Deaths: 8,605 INDIA:- Total Cases: 1,91,605; Total Deaths: 5,415 INDONESIA:- Total Cases: 26,940; Total Deaths: 1,641 IRAN:- Total Cases: 1,54,445; Total Deaths: 7,878 ITALY:- Total Cases: 2,32,997; Total Deaths: 33,415 JAPAN:- Total Cases: 16,851; Total Deaths: 891 NETHERLANDS:- Total Cases: 46,545; Total Deaths: 5,962 PHILIPPINES:- Total Cases: 18,638; Total Deaths: 960 RUSSIA:- Total Cases: 4,14,878; Total Deaths: 4,855 S KOREA:- Total Cases: 11,503; Total Deaths: 271 SPAIN:- Total Cases: 2,86,509; Total Deaths: 27,127 SWEDEN:- Total Cases: 37,814; Total Deaths: 4,403 SWITZERLAND:-Total Cases: 30,871; Total Deaths: 1,920 UAE:- Total Cases: 34,557; Total Deaths: 264 UK:- Total Cases: 2,74,762; Total Deaths: 38,489 US:- Total Cases: 18,37,830; Total Deaths: 106,220 - India Travel Times.Com   [Estd: 1998]       * * *    Travel, More Travel, Travel Means A Million Things     * * *    

INDIA'S BATTLE AGAINST CORONA: A case for scaling up swab tests

Make no mistake, coronavirus testing is not for treatment. There is no treatment so far for covid. Testing is to prevent community transmission by identifying the silent carriers of the deadly pathogen and quarantining them.

NEW DELHI, Mar 30: Some say that India’s low number of coronavirus cases (just about a thousand in such a vast country!) is due to the limited number of sample testing. That theory does not hold water simply because the symptomatic cases and casualties are also low even after a couple of months of the arrival of the virus. Till now, almost all cases are of those returning from highly infected countries or their primary contacts, identified in the foolproof airport screening and extensive contact-tracing.

Yet, the burgeoning demand for scaling up the scope of testing holds good as that is the only way to check if a frightening community transmission has started. Frightening because at multiple levels this corona can remain dormant for longer and bring about a sudden, massive outbreak that cannot be controlled, like in Italy, Spain or New York in the US.

Testing is crucial as we don't know if we are on the verge of a community transmission in the country. Walk-in tests will help in making predictions and adopting positive responses. So far the lowest rate of testing is India's. South Korea has been successful in containing the infection because of largescale testing, it is said.

Factors like cost of kits, lack of infrastructure, shortage of well-trained technicians and demographic distribution had made community testing prohibitive.

However, it has now been decided to set up 100 more Govt labs and allow around 50 private labs to conduct the tests. One million test probes each from Germany and the World Health Organisation have been requisitioned.

Till March 19, the country was only testing symptomatic patients with international travel history and those who had come in contact with laboratory-confirmed covid cases, apart from the medical staff. The ICMR is now undertaking random tests to check for community transmission by taking samples from pneumonia patients admitted to hospitals. This too has its limitations.

Now with the development and manufacture of indigenous, affordable kits by a Pune firm, the situation could dramatically change in a few days time. However, it should not be mistaken that testing is for treatment. There is no treatment so far for corona. Testing is to prevent community transmission by identifying the silent carriers of the deadly pathogen with a view to quarantining them.

(SEE: Indigenous, affordable corona test kits underway





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