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New Delhi: The Centre has asked States and Union Territories to upscale testing for COVID -19 by fully utilizing the existing molecular testing capacity. As of now, lndia has a network of three thousand 117 molecular testing laboratories and the estimated national daily testing capacity is more than 20 lakh per day. 

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and ICMR DG Dr. Balram Bhargava has written a letter to all the Chief Secretaries of States and Union Territories in this regard. It has asked to set up round the clock functional Rapid Antigen Tests, RAT booths at different locations to offer widespread testing and easier access to all citizens. 

Rapid Antiten Tests should be allowed at government and private health care facilities includlng all hospitals, dispensaries, nursing homes, clinics, district hospitals and primary health centres. It said, no accreditation is required for undertaking rapid antigen testing by any health care facility. ln addition to health care facilities, States and UTs have been asked to engage appropriate medical and paramedical staff and to set up and operationalize RAT booths, at convenient locations.

Centre has also asked to take appropriate measures to ensure adherence to physical distancing norms at all testing centers, to minimize possibility of transmission at testing centres. Most of the test kits and products approved by ICMR are now available on the GeM portal.

lt has also emphasized that during the current upsurge of COVID -19 cases, any individual presenting with fever with or without cough, headache, sore throat, breathlessness, bodyache, recent loss of taste or smell, fatigue and diarrhea should be considered as suspect case of COVID-19. State and UTs have been asked to test all such individuals on a priority basis.




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