10 lakh Covid-19 testing per day soon: Harsh Vardhan
New Delhi: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said, here on Thursday, the Covid-19 testing capacity would be enhanced to 10 lakh a day in 12 weeks. He said this while inaugurating the new Rajkumari Amrit Kaur (RAK) OPD block of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), here.
“The capacity will be enhanced to 10 lakh tests a day in the coming 12 weeks,” the Minister said.
“Gradually, we are moving in the direction to win the battle against the pandemic” which had infected 9,68,876 people across the country, he said.
He said less than 2 per cent of the Covid-19 patients were admitted in intensive care units (ICUs) and the lab network had been strengthened from 1 in January to 1,234 now. As on date, more than 3.26 samples were being tested per day, he added.
The measures taken as part of the graded, pre-emptive and proactive approach under the ‘Whole of Government’ strategy were showing results, he said.
Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria and several senior AIIMS officials were present on the occasion.
Vardhan expressed happiness that the new OPD was named after Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur, renowned freedom fighter and the first Health Minister of the country.
He asked the AIIMS Director and others to expedite operationalisation of the mother and child block, elderly block and surgery block. He also urged officials and heads of departments for collective brainstorming sessions in each department to assess and analyse the innovative steps that could be taken to ensure the best quality healthcare to patients approaching AIIMS in New Delhi.
Urging them to propose patient-friendly reforms, Vardhan said, “There must be zero tolerance for poor, sub-standard quality of care and towards patients’ inconvenience.”
Spread across 6,300 sqm, the RAK OPD is the largest known OPD in India. SMART Lab, built at the cost of Rs 15 crore, connects various analyzers and technologies in a single integrated workflow. The pre-analytics, analytics and post-analytics are connected by a robotic track and are seamlessly integrated.
The tests capacity could be expanded to 200,000 and it can handle over 10,000 patients per day. Commissioned in less than one year, it’s one of the largest track-based laboratory automation setup across the Asia Pacific.