Low Testing Rates
“Testing per million in India at 30,000 remains the second lowest in top 10 (virus-infected) countries. Mexico is lowest at about 10,000,” virologist Shahid Jameel, who heads the Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance, told AFP Sunday.
“We are still finding one positive in every 11 to 12 tests. This number should be one in 20 simply and means that testing is still sub-optimal and the outbreak is growing.”
Doctor Hemant Shewade, a Bangalore-based community medicine expert, added that India also needed to focus on reducing deaths — the fourth-highest in the world according to a tally by John Hopkins University.
The government collects fatality numbers from positive cases but not from suspected infections, raising concerns among scientists that the true picture of the epidemic is not being reflected in the official toll, he said.
“It is a small subset like the tip of the iceberg,” Shewade, who has been analyzing India’s official toll data, told AFP of the government’s decision to focus only on positive cases recorded within the official health system.